How does Michigan's economy bounce back from the COVID crisis? A business expert says 'the fundamentals are sound'

Posted at 9:43 AM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 17:01:00-04

As more Michiganders file for unemployment and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay at home order is extended through April 30, the question now turns to how do we get Michigan open again, when some of the restrictions are lifted and people can start going back to work?

Everywhere you look it's like a ghost town. Businesses are closed and millions of people are looking for work. However, after all of this passes – how do businesses get back on track and bring customers back? How does Michigan open up again?

"Well to put it into perspective, the Michigan economy has already taken a very hard hit," said Marick Masters, a business Professor at Wayne State University.

With hundreds of thousands of businesses closed across Michigan, the state's economy is feeling the pain.

"Payroll has gone down from about 4.5 million to under 3.3 million," Masters said. "It’s estimated that in Michigan this quarter unemployment will jump to 24 percent."

However, Masters says there is some hopeful news. Depending on when this pandemic starts to slow down, we could start seeing a resurgence of local


"As long as we can keep things going with enough money so that they can survive, we can get through this pretty well," he said.

Masters says this pandemic is worse than the recession of 2008, but in the end businesses should be able to get back on track and help stimulate the Michigan economy quicker.

"The fundamentals of the economy are sound," Masters said. "There aren’t structural problems with the economy and the stimulus is enormous, we should be able to bounce back pretty quickly."

President Trump was asked at his latest COVID-19 task force briefing about opening up the economy and how he plans on doing it with business leaders.

“These are the greatest names I think the people who know the best," the president said. "So we’ve called them and we’re going to be speaking with them very soon and if it’s questions or statements, we want them to have that for us and we will have either response. Ideally, we are going to be learning from them and we’ll be able to do that and put everything into our new guidelines."

Masters says we should all be optimistic that things will start to improve sooner rather than later, and opening Michigan back up will help us all get back to some sort of normalcy.

"Once they’re able to roll out their businesses again, they’ll be able to re-hire people and I think people will be chomping at the bit to get back to help those businesses," Masters said.