Category Archives: Economy

Grant money heads to City of Gaylord

Stack of Money

New job opportunities are in store for residents in Gaylord. Read more

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Michigan jobless rate drops to 7.5 percent

Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped slightly last month to seven and a half percent.

It marks the seventh month in a row the rate has declined, and its lowest point since April of 2008.

The jobless rate is a little more than one percent below where it was a year ago, and outpaced the improvement in the national rate over the same period.

Over the past 12 months, employment grew in the manufacturing, high-tech, and hotel-and-restaurant sectors.

There were job losses in the government and financial sectors.

The overall drop in statistical unemployment in Michigan has been slowed somewhat by people re-joining the workforce to compete for jobs.

Also, when people who have stopped looking for work, as well as part-time workers who’d like to be full-time, are added the mix, Michigan’s rate of unemployment and under-employment is 15-point-two percent.

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Report: Michigan families lag behind in financial security

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf a personal emergency hit tomorrow, nearly 40 percent of Michigan residents would have little or no savings to cover the costs, according to a 2014 Assets and Opportunities Scorecard, which ranks the state 27th in the nation for household financial security.
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Feds approve center to encourage immigrant investment in Michigan

Michigan will be only the second state in the country to run a statewide center meant to encourage investment from immigrants.

The center will provide visas for people who invest at least $1 million in the state and create at least ten jobs. The required investment goes down to $500,000 if it is made in a rural community or one with high unemployment.

This is one piece of Gov. Rick Snyder’s strategy to attract more immigrants to Michigan. His administration expects the center to bring in at least $30 million and create 600 new jobs every year.

“This is an existing program that Michigan has not taken very good advantage of,” said Joe Borgstrom, who will serve as the center’s director. “And so, what this is going to result in is more money being pumped into Michigan and more new jobs being created for Michiganders; more and better new jobs.”

Borgstrom says the center plans to partner with colleges and universities to keep young talent in the state.

“These great universities that we have already have foreign national students here,” he said. “We’re basically training the best in the world and we’re sending them off to be our competition. Part of our goal in this is we want to talk to those students and get them and their families to come and stay here so that we’re not training our competition, we’re training our best workforce.”

The center will operate under a federal visa program called EB-5. The program has come under attack in the past for funding several failed projects. Some critics also say it essentially puts visas up for sale for immigrants who can afford them.

State officials say the new EB-5 center could close on its first project by the end of the year.

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Campaign to repeal tax on business equipment working to win over voters

Michigan Capital Building

Michigan Capital Building

Local government and business groups have begun a campaign to convince voters to adopt a complicated question on the August ballot. It would repeal and replace an unpopular portion of Michigan’s personal property tax (PPT), which requires companies to pay taxes on certain business equipment.
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Tips for taxpayers as deadline approaches

If you’ve been delaying filing your taxes, time is running out.
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Minimum wage advocates cheer on President Obama in Ann Arbor

President Obama’s visit comes as groups in Michigan are pushing to raise the state’s minimum wage. Those groups were out in full force to cheer on the president.

The Raise Michigan coalition hopes to put a question on the November ballot. It would ask Michigan voters to raise the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour by 2017 and then tie it to inflation after that.

Frank Houston is with Raise Michigan.

“This can be literally the difference between you keeping your housing, putting food on the table, putting gas in your car, or even owning a car.”

Republican leaders in the state legislature say they have no interest in raising the state’s minimum wage. They say wages will rise on their own as the economy improves.

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POTUS stumps in Michigan for minimum wage hike

President Obama was in Ann Arbor today to make the case for an increase in the minimum wage. The President told a crowd at the University of Michigan it’s a mistake to try to boost the economy with tax breaks for the wealthy.

“We believe our economy grows best not from the top down, but from the middle up and the bottom up. And we want to make sure that no matter where you’re born, what circumstances, how you started out, what you look like, what you’re last name is, who you love, it doesn’t matter. You can succeed. That’s what we believe.”

The President has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to 10 dollars and 10 cents. The President also endorsed a ballot drive in Michigan to increase the state minimum wage. Employer groups say an increase in the minimum wage would cost jobs, drive up prices, and slow the economic recovery.

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State chamber members will travel to China to promote area business

Representatives of seven Michigan area chambers are expected to embark on a trip overseas to familiarize themselves with China.
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Michigan lawmakers urge Congress to require a balanced federal budget

Michigan is joining at least 17 other states in calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
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