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Detroit officials says COVID has highlighted education disparities in the workforce

"Lecture Hall" by Accretion Disc is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

The Detroit Regional Chamber says the COVID pandemic has highlighted education disparities in the workforce. Officials say unemployment among college-educated workers rose by about three percent during the last year. Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah says that’s compared to an eight-percentage point spike among those without diplomas.         

“To build a more resilient regional economy… and more resilient citizens and families… we need to increase our level of education obtainment," said Baruah. "So more of our citizens have that degree of skilled credential to insulate them from the unemployment line.”

Baruah says people of color have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic. He says 44-percent of federal paycheck protection loans given out in Detroit went to Black-owned businesses despite the city’s population which is 87-percent Black.