Interactive Tracking for Michigan Layoffs

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Upjohn Regional debuts interactive tool to track scope and impact of layoffs for Michigan

The Upjohn Institute has created an interactive map and chart that track layoff notices across the state of Michigan, illustrating the dynamic nature of the regional economy and providing a valuable tool for governments, economic development agencies, and non-profits.

The tool provides insight into the size and scope of layoffs as well as the multiplier effect those layoffs will have on related jobs and other economic factors.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) is a federal labor law that requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 days' advance notice of plant closings or mass layoffs. In May 2020, the Upjohn Institute published research titled "ForeWARNing? Michigan’s Announced Mass Layoffs Under the WARN Act," tracking and analyzing layoff notices during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WARN Notices Across Michigan

Now, the Institute has followed up with a new interactive map, currently examining the frequency and scale of WARN notifications issued in Michigan since 2016 – the period before, during, and after the pandemic. The map shows that pre-pandemic WARN notices in Michigan were typically tied to seasonal factors or issues impacting the manufacture of durable goods. During the pandemic, there was an increase in layoffs, particularly in service industries. As the pandemic subsided, Michigan recovered from the initial shock caused by the pandemic, and WARN notices are now in line with pre-pandemic levels. To see more economic information for Michigan Counties, please visit the Upjohn Regional Datahub

The “Multiplier Effect” Across Industries

The chart below groups the WARN notices by durable manufacturing (products that do not expire), non-durable manufacturing (products that expire quickly), service industries, and agriculture – exposing trends within the larger industry groupings. In addition to the direct employment losses announced by WARN notices, the chart represents the indirect loss in employment, output, gross regional product, personal income, and state and local government revenue due to affecting companies in related supply or customer chains. This represents the cumulative ripple effect that the layoffs have on the state economy due to multipliers for each sector of the economy.  These multipliers are a measure of an Industry's connection to the wider local economy by way of input purchases, sales of their products, payments of wages and taxes, and other transactions. The effects of layoffs are most pronounced in durable goods, followed by non-durable goods, services, and agriculture.

Layoffs and Local Economic Clusters

Examining trends with industry groupings can point to larger sectoral trends. It can also be helpful to consider the effects of layoffs on local economic clusters. The Upjohn Regional Team has identified industry clusters for Prosperity Region 8 (Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties).

In total, there are 16 industries within the Prosperity Region 8 clusters that lost 1900 jobs between 2016 and 2023. The largest number of layoffs within that time frame took place in motor vehicle parts manufacturing, all of which occurred in 2020. While many of these economic base industries for Prosperity Region 8 experienced layoffs throughout 2020, there were no additional layoffs in the economic base industries until 2023.

Moreover, there were only three WARN notices submitted for 2023 within these core industries. Those notices were for employers in rubber product manufacturing, spring and wire product manufacturing, and plastics product manufacturing. The lack of layoffs within the core industries (beyond those experienced during the 2020 pandemic) points to the resilience of these industries within Prosperity Region 8.

An updated version of this data will be published quarterly.

It is important to note that the rules governing WARN notices can be complicated, as there are exceptions to the Federal WARN Act. Employers are covered under WARN if they have 100 or more employees, not counting employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months, and not counting employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week. For more details, please reference the WARN Fact Sheet.