Poll: Despite Positive Indicators, Michigan Voters Remain Down on Economy

The Detroit Regional Chamber today released findings from a new statewide poll of registered voters in Michigan showing some strong economic indicators, yet deep concerns remain about the future of the nation’s economy.
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Capitol park in Detroit downtown Summer
A new Detroit Regional Chamber poll shows despite some positive economic indicators, most voters remain concerned about the future of the nation’s economy. // Stock Photo

The Detroit Regional Chamber today released findings from a new statewide poll of registered voters in Michigan showing some strong economic indicators, yet deep concerns remain about the future of the nation’s economy.

“Two years into the global pandemic, the chamber continues to go inside Michigan households and businesses to assess how voters feel about the state’s health, economy, and political situation,” says Sandy K. Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“The polling shows a growing disconnect between personal consumer behavior and concern over inflation. Voters, while confident of their own job security and finances, are pessimistic about the overall state of the economy in large part due to inflation, which many have never experienced in their lifetimes.”

The DRC’s polling partner, the Glengariff Group, completed the statewide poll of 600 registered Michigan voters between Nov. 29 and Dec. 3. The poll’s findings reflect some continuity with previous polls the past two years.

This year, however, a growing number of Michiganders believe the nation is on the wrong track, as the Delta variant drives another wave of infections, inflation continues to rise, and uncertainties remain about what public health measures are appropriate to meet these challenges.

The survey provides insight and data on perceptions of the economy, how inflation has impacted their assessment, ongoing challenges with COVID-19, vaccination, voting rights, and the political landscape going into the 2022 midterms.

More than five million jobs have been added since January of 2021, additional employment opportunities are readily available to anyone looking for work, and the nation’s economic output continues to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite this strong indicator, voters largely believe (63 percent) the nation’s economy is on the wrong track, while only 27 percent believe it is on the right track. When asked if the economy would get better, worse, or stay the same next year, the numbers were fairly evenly divided, with a slight majority (37.5 percent) expecting it to get worse. A smaller number (29.7 percent) think it will get better, and 24.3 percent think it will stay the same.

Nearly 90 percent (89.9) of voters say they are concerned about inflation, while only 8.6 percent say they are not concerned. More than half (58.2 percent) of voters say they are very concerned about inflation.

Voters were read a list of seven different purchases and asked if they personally have seen a big increase in the cost of that item over the past year.

  • Gas – 93.2 percent
  • Groceries – 89.7 percent
  • Eating out – 68 percent
  • Home heating – 53.8 percent
  • Vehicles – 51.7 percent
  • Insurance – 39.2 percent

The poll shows 6.5 percent of workers employed prior to COVID-19 have now left the workforce, with 5.1 percent saying they have retired or gone on disability and 1.4 percent saying they are no longer looking for work.

Perceptions about the labor market, specifically job security, remain healthy. Among voters that currently hold jobs, 16.1 percent are concerned about losing their jobs while 82.6 percent said they are not concerned about losing their jobs.

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