Michigan April unemployment rate was a staggering 22.7%

May 21, 2020

Unemployment benefits form
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Michigan’s unemployment rate rocketed in April, likely setting an all-time high at 22.7%, as coronavirus restrictions shut down businesses and put people out of work, the state reported Wednesday.

April was the first full month of stay-home orders and business shutdowns. People have been urged to wear masks and avoid each other to reduce the spread of the virus.

“Job losses were widespread across all industry sectors, with especially large employment reductions in leisure and hospitality and manufacturing,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

The state said the April jobless rate likely set a record when compared to estimates recorded since at least 1976. The previous high was 16.5% in December 1982.

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Meanwhile, the state reported 43 additional COVID-19 deaths, raising the total to 5,060. Cases grew by 1% to just over 53,000, continuing a virus slowdown in Michigan.

Bars and restaurants in northern Michigan can reopen Friday for the Memorial Day weekend, but Mackinac Island isn’t throwing down the welcome mat. Ferry boats will not be running to the island Saturday or Sunday, MLive.com reported.

Island officials want to stick to their plan to gradually reopen May 29.

“Mackinac is a very special place and we are all in this together and we will get through this together,” Mayor Margaret Doud said.