“As the state’s ‘Stay at Home’ Executive Order slowly begins to lift, and with evidence of growing frustration with these orders from some quarters, the Chamber wanted to provide employers of all types and sizes a clearer picture of employees’ comfort returning to work and their view of the order,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Chamber.
Learn about the Chamber’s Point of View on the State’s "Stay at Home" Executive Order and approach to reopening the economy.
The following are some key themes from the polling results:
Michiganders Overwhelmingly View COVID-19 as a Public Health Threat
- 86.3% say COVID-19 is a threat to public health, compared to 9.8% who disagree.
- 58.8% believe the threat of COVID-19 has been balanced or downplayed, compared to 32.2% who believe the threat has been exaggerated.
- 55.5% are more concerned about their health, while 21.7% are more concerned about their financial situation.
- 77.0% of workers trust their employers to keep them safe, an increase over the 60.0% in the April poll.
- 66.1% of workers feel safe going back to work, while 32.7% of workers do not yet feel safe returning to the workplace. This is an increase over the Chamber’s April poll indicating 61.0% felt safe or somewhat safe returning to the workplace.
- A majority, or plurality, of workers of businesses of all sizes, are comfortable going back to work.
- Small business employees feel the most comfortable returning to their place of employment, with 83.3% for businesses employing 11 to 25 people.
- Metro Detroit workers feel safe returning to work by a narrower, but still solid, margin of 58.3% compared to the 66.1% statewide average.
- 63.7% approve of Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic, including 44.7% who strongly approve. 32.8% disapprove of the governor’s handling. The Governor’s support extends across all regions of the state. The Governor’s approval level is an increase from the 57.0% of the Chamber’s April poll.
- 71.7% support reopening our economy gradually to avoid a second wave.
- 25.7% state that the economic damage is worse than the health damage and the economic restart needs to occur quickly.
- 58.5% agreed that the state is opening up about right, with 7.0% reporting it is opening too fast, and 32.3% it is opening too slowly.
- By a margin of 65.8% to 31.8%, voters support taking a regional approach to opening businesses.
- A majority of Detroit region respondents, 53.0%, however, believe that every region should be treated the same.
- 66.8% believe Michigan’s response to the crisis made sense and 29.2% disagree.
- 24.0% characterized the impact on their household finances as catastrophic or major. This is down compared to the April finding of 47.0%.
- 16.0% of voters reported being worried about putting food on their table. This is down compared to the April finding of 26.0%.
- 23.0% of workers still working, but at reduced hours, worry about putting food on the table.
- 50.9% of those working for companies with one to 10 employees and 43.8% of those working for companies with 11 to 25 employees have been either laid off or had their hours sharply reduced.
- The hardest financial implications appear to be for employees of small businesses with less than 10 employees – 34.3% of those individuals said the results had been catastrophic or major.
- Workers strongly support employers implementing six-foot social distancing rules, face mask requirements, and temperature checks at the workplace.
- 80.7% of respondents report wearing a mask when they go out.
- Michiganders plan to approach reopening gradually. The data shows that “must do” events, such as grocery stores or small retail visits, medical appointments, and small (10 or less) social gatherings will be among the first activities to be engaged in. Activities such as school, restaurants, mall shopping, and large venue events do not rank high in respondents’ comfort level.
- While Gov. Whitmer’s approval for handling the crisis is strong at 63.7%, only 19.3% of Republicans approve.
- 70.4% of voters who identify as Strong Republican believe the COVID-19 threat has been exaggerated, compared to 32.2% of all voters.
- 60.7% of Strong Republican voters believe the economic damage is worse than the illness, compared to 21.7% of all voters.
- Republican voters, contrary to all voters, believe Michigan is opening up too slowly; with 77.0% of those who identify as Strong Republican voters agreeing it is opening too slow. A majority, 58.5%, said Michigan is opening about right.
The Chamber conducted a similar statewide poll in April with the Glengariff Group to get an early view into how the pandemic was impacting Michigan households. This poll from May contains some of the same questions and additional questions about the prospect of reopening Michigan businesses of all sizes.
- 42.8% of Michigan voters approve of President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 50.4% who disapprove. In April, respondents disapproved by a margin of 44.0%-50.0%.
- By a margin of 77.0%-19.6%, workers trust their workplace to keep them safe. This is an increase from 60.0% in April.
- By a margin of 63.7%-32.8%, Michigan voters approve of Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, respondents approved by a margin of 57.0%-37.0%.
- In April, 47.0% of residents said the financial effect had been catastrophic or major. In May, that number dropped to 24.0%.
*Shared from the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce*