The results of a study conducted by the UM Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics showed that Wayne County’s recovery from the pandemic is ahead of surrounding areas, but faces inequalities. // Image bank

According to the results of a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Quantitative Economics Research Seminar, Wayne County is expected to recover from its pre-pandemic job numbers by the end of 2023, which is a little stronger than Michigan as a whole.

Economic recovery varies widely across job types and between affluent county suburbs and the city of Detroit. By July, the county’s unemployment rate had fallen to 4.5%, representing a nearly 90% recovery in job losses caused by the pandemic.

“A strong economy and tight labor market tend to reduce economic disparities by improving the prospects for low-income workers,” explains Gabriel Ehrlich, UMQR director. “We hope that the economic recovery we predict for Wayne County will ultimately lead to more widely shared prosperity in the county, although there are challenges in the near term.”

Researchers say the strong recovery from surrounding areas is due to the end of pandemic restrictions on the service economy, significant federal income support, increased levels of personal comfort and the reopening of schools. for in-person instruction. They also expect Detroit to resume its promising pre-pandemic trajectory.

Wayne County’s economic outlook for 2021-23 shows the outlook for the finance and insurance, transportation equipment manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing industries to be particularly positive.

The researchers say the inflation-adjusted average wages in the county jumped about 7% in 2020, as more low-wage workers lost their jobs than those in high-paying jobs. That number is expected to decline this year and remain stable as more low-wage workers return to work.

Real wage growth is strongest in the lower education service sector, and is expected to jump 11% from 2019 to 2023. Real wage growth in the higher education service sector is expected to increase by 6%. Blue collar industries have the most negative outlook, with real wages falling by 2%.

Researchers fear income inequality will increase after the pandemic, as high-wage industries are expected to grow much faster than low-wage industries. They also noted geographic disparity within the county when looking at average annual household incomes adjusted for cost of living and household size.

In 2019, income in Detroit averaged $ 59,400 for a three-person household and $ 101,000 in the rest of the county. In comparison, the townships of Plymouth and Canton had an average income per three-person household of $ 148,000.

Divisions are also emerging between racial and ethnic groups. Black and Hispanic residents are half as likely as white non-Hispanic residents to live in households classified as high income, and they are almost twice as likely to live in households classified as low income.

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