Washtenaw County Workforce Impacted By COVID-19

Jun 1, 2020

The Washtenaw Economic Club has released its “2020 Washtenaw County Economic Outlook” report.  

The report indicates that due to COVID-19, in the first quarter of the year, unemployment claims in Washtenaw County totaled 33,000, approximately 15% of the county’s workforce.  During the same period, the state’s overall unemployment claims hit 30%.  Donald Grimes is a senior research specialist at the University of Michigan who worked on the report and explains why Washtenaw County was not affected as much.  

Donald Grimes: Because we have the universities and Michigan Medical, and a lot of very well-educated workers and a very educated population.

There are currently no unemployment claim numbers for the second quarter, which is the period we’re in.  But Grimes says the overall economy should pick up as more businesses start to reopen. The "2020 Washtenaw County Economic Outlook" report was going to presented in-person in March at Washtenaw Community College, but instead, it was recently released virtually because of COVID-19.  

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu