Strong Q1 start for industrial upended by COVID-19 pandemic
Local economists at the beginning of Q1 predicted 2020 would bring about increasingly tight labor supply, a possible easement of the trade war with China and stable wage growth across the state. Last year the economy showed some signs of cooling down, though economists said it was too early to determine when the next recession would happen. The future is now more uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grand Valley State University economist Paul Isely said though West Michigan is being affected less than other parts of the country economically due to COVID-19, there will be a recession locally because of the pandemic, especially through the first part of Q2. Early in Q1 employers were having a hard time filling open positions, though by the end of the first quarter, eight percent of Michigan residents had filed unemployment claims due to an executive order closing nonessential business during the coronavirus pandemic.