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How much and how quickly is Michigan's economy improving?


Michigan's economy is adding jobs. But the pace and strength of that recovery is a source of debate. 

Long-time business writer Rick Haglund questioned Michigan's recovery in an Mlive column published on Sunday. He says the most recent report shows 27,000 jobs were added in Michigan in January. He says that number, more than in any month during the past year, is likely overstated because seasonal adjustments are difficult to determine. 

Haglund says Michigan's rate of job growth lagged the nation in 2012. Haglund also points to figures showing that Michigan's per-capita income has dropped sharply over the last decade.

But Haglund finds evidence that Michigan's unemployment rate may be stuck at a high level because more people are coming back into the labor market. Those people may be looking for jobs again, because they have reason to believe that work is available. 

House Speaker Jase Bolger has answered Haglund with a guest column for Mlive. The Marshall Republican says simplifying the tax code is helping to create jobs. 

Bolger points to 170,000 jobs created since Governor Snyder took office in 2011 with Republican majorities in both the state House and Senate. Bolger says more than 90% of those jobs are coming from somewhere other than auto manufacturing. 

Bolger says there is more work to be done, but he says a simplified state tax code and removing regulations has paid dividends. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.