‘This could set women back generations’

BY: - April 7, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic began driving women from their jobs en masse a little more than one year ago, West Michigan Works employees were ready to help them return to the labor force. But they’re not returning. “Women are actually dropping out of the workforce; it’s not just an issue of they’re looking for work […]

Changing plans, taking gap years: How college grads are navigating the pandemic recession

BY: - July 29, 2020

About three months have passed since millions of college students graduated college into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Some have had to look for jobs unrelated to their degrees, while others changed their plans or decided to take a year off before going to graduate school or moving to where they had […]

Michigan sees ‘notable rebound’ in June unemployment rate

BY: - July 16, 2020

Michigan’s unemployment rate declined to 14.8% in June, signaling a 6.5 percentage point decrease from the month before — although labor experts caution that it remains significantly higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. The unemployment rate in May had been recorded at 21.3%. “Michigan’s labor market in June recorded a notable rebound in jobs, led by significant […]


Rick Haglund: Brophy is ‘fairly bullish’ on tech, life sciences in Michigan

BY: - June 27, 2020

David Brophy, a University of Michigan finance professor, remembers getting the call from then-Gov. William Milliken in the late 1970s as Michigan was heading into a deep economic recession. Detroit’s automakers were struggling to compete with nimble Japanese rivals that were building small, fuel-efficient cars consumers demanded during an era of high gasoline prices.  Iconic […]


Susan J. Demas: Trump was elected to hurt the ‘right people.’ Now he’s hurting his base.

BY: - June 24, 2020

When Donald Trump emerged disheveled and broken from Air Force One Saturday after what was supposed to be his triumphant comeback on the campaign trail in Tulsa (coronavirus — what’s that?), it was clear that the sheen of his electoral invincibility had finally started to tarnish. National journalists (even one who reported live from a […]

Lawmakers advance bills to push back July budget deadline, urge congressional help

BY: - June 11, 2020

Both chambers of the Legislature on Thursday took steps on the budget process, as measures were introduced to compel Congress to provide more flexible financial assistance to states and to waive the Legislature’s quickly approaching deadline to present a budget to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. House Concurrent Resolution 26, sponsored by state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) […]

Michigan won’t bounce back from COVID-19 recession until after 2022

BY: - May 15, 2020

The recession caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan is “as bad or worse than” the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, according to state Budget Director Chris Kolb, but Michigan will be able to weather the storm with sufficient support from the federal government. State fiscal analysts and top economists from the University of […]

Can lessons from the Great Recession help states avoid budget disasters? 

BY: and - May 11, 2020

As they face massive budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states are looking for federal money to help stave off the kind of drastic cuts they enacted during the last economic downturn. State budget officers and economists generally agree that cuts to state spending worsened the Great Recession in the years following 2008. Layoffs, […]

GOP leaders plan big budget cuts, don’t say if they’ve asked D.C. for help 

BY: and - May 7, 2020

The state budget is facing a massive shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with estimates of a roughly $7 billion revenue hit over the next two years. And Michigan is far from alone, as states all over the country are grappling with soaring unemployment, plummeting tax revenue and a looming recession. The Washington, D.C.-based think […]


Rick Haglund: Automakers face huge losses, hit pause on electric vehicles

BY: - May 2, 2020

Way back in January 2020 B.C. (Before Coronavirus), automakers were enjoying healthy sales and working feverishly to transform themselves into major producers of electric and self-driving vehicles. “It seems like three months ago, I couldn’t go to an external presentation that wasn’t focused on electrification,” said Joe Zaciek, research and industry analysis manager at the […]


Rick Haglund: Want to stop long-term economic damage from COVID-19? Beef up federal spending.

BY: - April 19, 2020

More than 1 million Michigan workers — about 20% of the state’s labor force — have filed for unemployment in the past month as public health restrictions enacted to end the coronavirus pandemic have brought the state’s economy to a virtual standstill. Forget about the Great Recession, when the state’s jobless rate topped out at […]

Michigan unemployment could hit 23% and other alarming economic forecasts

BY: - April 10, 2020

Experts “will have no difficulty in saying we entered a recession in March of 2020,” said Charles Ballard, an economics professor at Michigan State University. The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped through the United States with almost 470,000 cases and almost 18,000 deaths as of Friday afternoon. And the virus has steamrolled the economy, causing plunges […]