LANSING – Patrick Anderson, CEO of the Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group, which provides economic analysis for private companies, nonprofits and governments, predicts as many as 1.4 million of the state’s 4.7 million workers will be displaced in the next 45 days.
“We have to deal with the huge number of Michigan residents who will be placed out of work in some manner over the next 45 days,” Anderson said.
Other estimates aren’t nearly as dire, but Courtney Nichols, a labor attorney in Lansing, has warned businesses to plan for at least eight weeks of significant economic pain.
On Monday alone, the number of jobless claims in Michigan soared to 5,400 from a daily average of 1,300 to 1,600, the same day that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the temporary closure of all bars, restaurants, movie theaters, libraries and other public venues.
“This is uncharted territory and I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Jim Stansell, senior economist and associate director at the House Fiscal Agency.
“The difference, now, is in the past when we went into recession, there was an underlying reason. The housing bubble burst. Or the tech bubble burst. Now, businesses are shutting down because of a virus. How long can they survive?”
The 1.4 million potentially affected workers — not all will be unemployed — is seven times more than the 210,000 jobless workers reported in January, the most recent estimate. It’s nearly double the number of unemployed in June 2009 when 725,000 were jobless during the worst month of the Great Recession.
“If anything even remotely close to 1.4 million lose their jobs, that would be unlike anything we have seen since 1933,” Charles Ballard, an economist at Michigan State, wrote in an email to Bridge, referring to the Depression.
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