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Whitmer on Growing Economy and Low Unemployment in Michigan
March 24, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 24, 2022
Gov. Whitmer on Michigan’s Growing Economy, Low Unemployment
9,000 jobs added, capping 10 straight months of growth
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement after the release of Michigan’s latest economic numbers showing that the state has added jobs for 10 straight months and has a low unemployment rate of 4.7%. Although there remains work to be done, Michigan’s economic momentum is undeniable—the state added 172,000 jobs in February year over year.
“Michigan is on the move. Through tough times, Michiganders continue to work hard and build on our economic momentum. For ten straight months, our economy has added jobs and our unemployment rate continues to decrease. From February 2021 to February of this year, Michigan added 172,000 jobs, and that trend will continue as we build on our efforts to empower economic development, deliver relief to small businesses, and cut taxes for seniors and working families.
“We will keep working to lower costs for families, especially in light of rising prices due to the invasion of Ukraine and ongoing supply chain challenges caused by the effects of the pandemic. I announced the More for MI Money Plan to deliver immediate relief to families by suspending the state sales tax on gas, repealing the retirement tax to save half a million Michiganders $1,000 a year, and tripling the tax credit for working families to put a combined $3,000 in the pockets of 730,000 families. Additionally, we are delivering $400 auto insurance refund checks per vehicle to every insured Michigan driver and have called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax, further lowering costs.
“Michigan’s future is bright, and I will continue working with anyone to get things done on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families. Let’s stay focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for families.”
The numbers are clear: Michigan’s economy is on the rise. According to Bloomberg, the state experienced its best economic recovery in history over the last two years. Michigan is #1 nationwide based on equally-weighted measures of employment, personal income, home prices, and stock market performance of publicly-traded companies. The state is also in the midst of a manufacturing boom, having added 20,000 auto jobs and counting since Governor Whitmer took office and many other high-skill, in-demand jobs in fields ranging from semiconductor chips to software to agriculture. Michigan is a standout for investors with bonds returning better rates than ever, and the state went from a projected $3 billion deficit at the beginning of the pandemic to a $7 billion surplus today.
In November, Governor Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation repealing the tampon tax. In December, the governor signed a bipartisan tax cut for small businesses, allowing small businesses owners to exempt more of their personal property. In the governor’s 2022 State of the State Address, Governor Whitmer proposed tax cuts for seniors and working families. She proposed a roll back of the retirement tax which would put an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of half a million seniors who worked hard and played by the rules. She also proposed tripling the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit, which would deliver a combined $3,000 tax refund in the pockets of 730,000 working families. These tax cuts will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of over 1.2 million households across Michigan, ensuring they are not as heavily impacted by price increases.
Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs
In her 2022 State of the State address, Governor Whitmer spoke about Attorney General Dana Nessel’s ongoing investigation into one of the three largest drug companies that manufactures nearly all the insulin in the United States. The Attorney General is seeking to use the Michigan Consumer Protection Act to investigate the role drug companies play in raising prices. Lowering the cost of insulin will save lives and help Michiganders pay the bills, put food on the table, or save for the future. Governor Whitmer will work with anyone to hold drug companies accountable, lower the cost of insulin, and save lives.
The Governor also signed a bipartisan bill last month requiring pharmacy benefit managers to file transparency reports, ensuring Michiganders have access to the information about the backend cost and profit of the medication they are being prescribed. It promotes oversight by requiring Pharmacy Benefit Managers to acquire a license from the State of Michigan.
In December, Governor Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation empowering Michigan’s economic development with a fund to give the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, or MEDC, a new set of powerful tools to land some of the huge projects in their pipeline that would lead to billions in investment and tens of thousands of jobs. The legislation led to GM’s announcement of a $7 billion investment in Michigan building electric vehicles and batteries. It also set up a fund for small business relief, building on work the state has done since March 2020 to set up 23 economic relief programs and deliver over $240 million to small businesses in all 83 Michigan counties.
Since Governor Whitmer took office, the State of Michigan has invested nearly $4.75 billion to repair, replace, or rehabilitate over 13,000 lane miles of road and over 900 bridges. The Governor’s $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan plan is moving dirt to fix roads with the right mix and materials, supporting 45,000 jobs, and ensuring workers can get to work and parents can drop their kids off at school safely.