We fired up the old orange lawn tractor yesterday to mow the lawn for the first time and mulch up the leftover leaves. Thankfully it started, as it usually does, like a champ on the first try. Good thing too, as word is the price for this year's best selling model of orange riding mower just went up another $500. And the stashed mower inventory, intended to last through June, is on the verge of being depleted. While Michiganders are big into self-reliance these days, with sales to match, there’s not enough inventory available to meet demand. Metal store fixtures needed to expand and open new locations are through the roof pricewise and difficult to find. Office equipment is also on the rise, with computers similar in style to those purchased six months ago, now up another $900+ and on backorder. Michigan stores specializing in outdoor adventure equipment and vehicles can’t get stock in to sell. Polaris UTVs, normally parked like ducks on the lawns at MI dealerships in May, are nowhere to be found, with delivery dates on paid orders out 4-6 months. And new Ford Trucks assembled in Detroit are currently being stashed in parking lots, awaiting an essential computer chip before full assembly can be completed.
Michigan is currently experiencing a severe shortage of tech, trade and service workers with 2000 jobs open in our county alone and no one available to fill them. Our local pizza shop began closing on Tuesdays due to lack of workers, and this week the neighboring Taco Bell, which has had a steady stream of income from take-out traffic since the shut-down, had to close for a day due to lack of staff. While all this may sound small and random, they're indicative of significant changes to the bigger picture here in MI and elsewhere that are starting to add up.
55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks
Allows in-person work for all sectors of business.
60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks
Increases indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25%.
Increases indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes to 25%.
Increases capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%.
Lifts the curfew on restaurants and bars.
65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks
Lifts all indoor % capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties.
Further relaxes limits on residential social gatherings.
70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks
Lifts the Gatherings and Face Masks Order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.