COVID-19 Update: Michigan Unemployment Down, Top 5 Pizza Outlets in Michigan, YMCA to Open Child Care Centers, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Aug. 27

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Michigan Jobless Rates
Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates declined in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas during July, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget.

“Michigan regional jobless rates were down in July, although total employment levels showed only modest change in many regions in July,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Industry jobs also edged up over the month as the number of unemployed workers in tourism-related businesses continued to moderate.”

July employment levels were relatively stable among major Michigan regions. The highest July employment gains were in the metro Detroit and northern Michigan. Labor force levels and jobless rates declined in July, but unemployment rates remained above year-ago levels.

The combined Michigan average regional jobless rates for May, June, and July ranged from 11.6-18.5 percent. These regional jobless rates jumped sharply since February by 6.7-14.7 percentage points.

Employment levels in all of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas receded since February. Reductions ranged from 2.1-19.5 percent, with a median decline of 9.6 percent.

Michigan major area jobless rates rose significantly since July 2019, with a median gain of 4.3 percentage points. Sixteen Michigan regions demonstrated employment reductions over the year. Nine labor market areas exhibited workforce declines over the past year, while eight regions had labor force advances.

Seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan rose slightly over the month by 38,000, or 1 percent, to about 3.9 million. Minor job gains were seen in most statewide industries. The largest over-the-month increase in nonfarm employment occurred in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector, with an addition of 30,000 jobs. Government was the only industry to exhibit a substantial seasonal job cut over the month (-30,000).

Over-the-month job hikes were minor, ranging from 0.2-2.3 percent.

Michigan’s nonfarm job levels dropped sharply over the year, plunging by 484,000 since July 2019. All 14 metro regions exhibited nonfarm employment declines over the year.

All 83 Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate reductions over the month. Over the year, all 83 counties registered unemployment rate advances.

YMCA Learning Centers
The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit has announced it is positioned to operate its Y Learning Centers in compliance with the safety protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state of Michigan. It will also offer its services below the actual costs thanks to partnerships with school districts, funding from municipalities, and YMCA donors. Families will pay $30-$37 per day depending on the location. Financial assistance is also available.

Y Learning Centers are available for children ages 5-12 at these locations beginning Sept. 8:

  • Boll Family YMCA in Detroit
  • Downriver Family YMCA in Southgate
  • Farmington YMCA in Farmington Hills
  • Farmington Schools Sites
  • South Oakland Family YMCA in Royal Oak
  • YMCA Camp Ohiyesa in Holly

Space will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. Health screenings will occur daily, and modified drop off and pick up procedures will be in place. Other COVID-19 protocols will also be observed. More information is available here.

Early learning childcare is currently also available for children ages six weeks to 5 years old. More information is available here.

Virtual Military and Veteran Career Fair
Disabled American Veterans and RecruitMilitary are partnering to host the National Virtual Career Fair for Veterans and Military from 12-4 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The free event is also open to military spouses and dependents.

The event will include interaction among job candidates and employers in large groups, small groups, and one-on-one.

Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary has been employing and recruiting veterans for nearly 30 years. In response to COVID-19, it implemented virtual hiring events nationwide in a matter of days. In April, the organization was appointed by the U.S. Army to provide all transition services to soldiers, veterans, and their families.

Registration and more information are available here.

Arts, Beats, and Eats Matching Grant
Oakland County has awarded a $500,000 matching grant to the Arts, Beats, and Eats Foundation and Beats Go On campaign. The campaign is working to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support local musicians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and spread music virtually and through drive-in concerts Labor Day weekend.

The county will match donations raised through Labor Day weekend up to $500,000. The money will provide economic support to musicians suffering from unemployment or business interruptions due to COVID-19. The matching grant supports individuals who receive 50 percent of their income from their work as a musician or artist for qualifying expenses such as health care, rental or mortgage payments, utilities, grocery bills, digital access expenses,

transportation, and childcare.

More than 200 performances across nearly 15 genres will perform virtual concerts from Aug. 27-Sept. 3 to raise money for the cause. The drive-in concerts will take place Sept. 4-7 and will also support the cause.

To donate, click here.

Labor Day weekend will also offer Art By Appointment, in which patrons can preview top Michigan artists’ work online and then be scheduled for a 75-minute visit in downtown Royal Oak with up to 20 participating juried fine artists.

The Eats On Your Street initiative will also deliver locally owned food trucks into local areas and surrounding communities. Individuals can also participate in 100-person outdoor yoga and Zumba-style events, as well as an online portion of the fitness dance event.

More information is available here.

Little Caesars National Favorite During COVID-19
Detroit-based Little Caesars is the fast food chain that has fared best since COVID-19 struck, according to Top Data, which delivers business, consumer, and marketing insights.

The chain is the No. 1 choice in 24 states. In Michigan, the top five chains are, in order, Little Caesars, Domino’s, Marco’s Pizza, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut.

No other pizza place has claimed close to as many spots. Papa John’s, next on the list, is the top contender in nine states, and Ann Arbor-based Domino’s is the favorite in seven.

The results come in as fast food is consistently outperforming traditional sit-down restaurants as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Pizza is cost-effective, and ordering pizza requires minimal human interaction.

However, overall visits to pizza chains are still down 20 percent. Little Caesars has seen a 6 percent reduction in visits.

Detroit Tribute in Light Show
DTE’s Beacon Park in downtown Detroit will showcase Detroit Tribute in Light, a video and light event honoring the courage Detroiters have shown and acknowledging the losses the city has suffered as a result of COVID-19. Starting tonight just after sunset, the face of the Grand Army of the Republic Building, located across the street from Beacon Park, will be covered with a video light show comprised of locally gathered images and video as well as massive scale custom-designed graphics and animations.

Multiple showings will be offered each evening through Sept. 4 to safely accommodate attendees. Free online registration here is required, and attendance each night is limited. Face masks are required.

The showing will be repeated through midnight each day. The Downtown Detroit Partnership, Mindfield, and TLS Productions are presenting the show.

Shatter the Stigma 2020
Auburn Hills’ Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities is kicking off a virtual fundraising event, Shatter the Stigma 2020, on Monday, Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, to help fund its efforts as it continues to help families with substance misuse prevention, recovery, and wellness. The fundraiser runs through September, which is National Recovery Month.

The event replaces its annual Shatter the Stigma Family Festival that was cancelled due to COVID-19. The virtual kickoff will take place from 12:30-4:30 p.m.

The alliance works to provide programs and support for families struggling with substance abuse during COVID-19. A 13 percent rise in accidental overdoses in the first half of 2020 has taken place due to the isolation the pandemic has caused, according to the New York Times.

The event will include testimony from 13-year-old Eliette Clute, who lost her father to overdose five years ago, and from Calvin Higgins Jr., an alliance board member who formally served as a supervisory special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, about the importance of Alliance’s education, prevention, and recovery programs.

The previous festivals included a 5K race. The new virtual format allows participants to start or support a fundraising team to race against other teams to see who can raise the most money through the month. Prizes for the winning team will be announced at the end of the month.

Click here for more information.

EMU Foundation Partner of Esports Fund
Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti has been named a foundation partner of Gen.G Foundation, which has announced a $1 million commitment to developing the next generation of leaders in the gaming industry. The organization will commit $100,000 annually for 10 years, and the fund will be used to support women, people of color, and low-income students enrolled in a U.S. university or college who are interested in majoring in gaming, esports, entrepreneurship, journalism, or content creation.

Applications for the inaugural class, which is labeled the “Gen 10,” will open on Sept. 15. One scholarship will be reserved for an EMU freshman. Scholarship recipients will be announced in December.

Ahead of the 2020 school year, EMU and Gen.G launched a strategic rollout of programming focused on student retention and recruitment. The EMU Summer Smash Tournament weekly series ended on Aug. 20 with a day of friendly competition for high school students across the country. It was run by EMU students, and the final day featured professional Smash commentator BAM and representation from more than 100 high schools in 28 states.

More information on the scholarship fund is available here.

Ford to Sponsor Tour de Troit
Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. and Michigan Central, the automaker’s Corktown, Detroit development, are sponsoring the Tour de Troit Fall Virtual Rides. The four virtual rides are 10-15 miles each and will take place Sept. 1-Oct. 31. They can be done at the rider’s convenience and will depart from Rouge Park, Alfred Brush Ford Park, Palmer Park, and Roosevelt Park.

The virtual rides are $20 each and feature a limited-edition Christopher Gorski Detroit GT T-shirt and an app to help people keep track of directions and landmarks. Riders who complete all four rides will secure a free 2021 Tour de Troit registration.

Usually, the ride includes 5,000 people and takes place in September. Tour de Troit aims to promote a lifestyle centered on health and wellness. It has raised more than $400,000 to support non-motorized infrastructure in Detroit since 2005.

More information is available here.

Joel Landy Memorial
Midtown Detroit Inc. is initiating a fundraising campaign to create a memorial garden around the Scott Mansion on Peterboro to honor Joel Landy, who rescued the mansion from ruin and developed 28 apartments in its place. Landy bought the mansion in 2002 from the city of Detroit. Landy also developed and restored buildings in the Cass Corridor for 40 years.

The organization will work with a landscape architect to develop the plan and will include a plaque in the memorial.

For more information or to donate, call (313) 420-6000. The organization is hoping to raise $30,000.

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