The Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC) released its finding from a statewide poll of registered voters in Michigan that provide insight on reactions to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the ongoing public health and economic challenges, and critical political issues facing the state.
“After conducting multiple polls in 2020, the Chamber wanted to reassess how voters feel about Michigan’s health, economy, and political situation,” says Sandy K. Baruah, president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Fifteen months into the pandemic, voters are seeing clear progress in controlling COVID-19 and are broadly receptive to vaccinations but are still reserving judgement about the speed with which they want to return to ‘normal.’”
The DRC’s polling partner, The Glengariff Group Inc., conducted the poll of registered Michigan voters between May 22 and May 26. The new results reflect some continuity with previous DRC polls conducted throughout 2020 regarding priorities as vaccinations become available and business face a labor shortage.
A majority of voters believe the pandemic is largely under control — 72.2 percent — while 75.5 percent say they still plan to follow some precautions to keep themselves safe. Nearly 60 percent of voters plan to continue wearing masks in some public indoor scenarios, with just over a third saying they will only wear a mask indoors if required.
The DRC’s December 2020 poll showed 52.5 percent of surveyed voters planning to get vaccinated, while the new poll shows 77 percent of voters have received at least one shot.
Of the 20 percent of voters who said they do not plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, 47.5 percent said there was no reason they would get vaccinated. Another 21.5 percent said they would if their work or school required it, 12.4 percent if their friends and family told them they had to get it to spend time with them, 5.1 percent if it was required for travel, and 0.6 percent if it was required for concerts or sporting events.
During the pandemic, 54.1 percent of workers remained on the job site, but 77.4 percent would prefer at least some portion of their job to be remote. The study showed 50.4 percent of workers would prefer a hybrid model of home/office work, with 27 percent preferring full-time work-from-home, and 22 percent preferring full-time job site work.
Workers in the later stages of their careers make up a significant portion of people employed before the pandemic no longer looking for a job. The study showed 76 percent of workers employed before the pandemic are employed in the same job, and 4.2 percent who are not working or actively looking for work, with a smaller group citing unemployment benefits as their reason for not returning to work.
The Detroit Regional Chamber has served the 11-county Southeastern Michigan region for more than 100 years.