How’s Michigan Doing, Anyway?

By October 1, 2010Economy, Energy

Below we have the announcement of a joint effort of the Michigan Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Manufacturers to put manufacturing and competitiveness issues on the front burner in the 2010 campaigns and beyond.

We hadn’t checked in with the state in a while, although Gov. Granholm crosses the radar every so often in Washington. Back what’s happening back in Michigan?

The Greater Lansing Business Monthly has an encouraging report, “Lansing Manufacturing on the Rebound

There is good news to report on one of the key industries of the Lansing-area economy.  Manufacturing in the capital area is emerging from one of its worst downturns on record. Jobs this past June were up by 3,100 from a year ago and are averaging year-over-year gains of about 1,800 jobs for the first half of 2010. Employment topped 18,000 in June for the first time since 2008.

Our fortunes are tied to the auto industry of course, and the rebound is predominantly in this sector, especially at GM’s Lansing Delta Township plant. The higher volume Chevrolet Traverse is now made here and has replaced the Saturn Outlook. Some of the job additions include workers transferring from Spring Hill, Tenn.—and the plant is operating on three shifts while Lansing Grand River remains on one shift. Jobs at supplier plants have responded to this increased production by adding jobs.

Crain’s Detroit Business also reports an optimistic forecast, “University of Michigan economists predict reversal in job losses for five-county region.”

That’s good. Unfortunately, there’s a long way to go. Michigan’s unemployment rate in August was the second highest in the nation, at 13.1 percent better only than Nevada (14.4 percent).

Budget woes. There are budget woes. From AP, “Mich. governor signs budget bills into law“: “Lawmakers erased a projected $484 million deficit in the next budget. The deficit would have been far larger if it weren’t for extra federal help.” WJR’s Frank Beckmann is critical, “Budget again balanced with cowardly fixes.” The Jackson Citizen-Patriot editorializes, “Lansing falls short with budget again.

Federal money, as per news release, “Stabenow, Levin Announce $450,000 for Oakland University’s Business Incubator in Sterling Heights.”

Manufacturing is certainly an issue in the gubernatorial campaigns. Democratic candidate Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, is highlighting “advanced manufacturing” as he campaigns, “Bernero pushes manufacturing in Muskegon campaign stop.” The state NFIB and Michigan Manufacturers Assocation have endorsed the Republican candidate, businessman Rick Snyder.

Batteries…

And AP, “Michigan museum to open exhibit of old toys called ‘Batteries Not Included’.” Get with the picture, man!

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