News Story

Farewell Wayfair Projected Jobs: $2.5 Million In Taxpayer Handouts Can't 'Buy' 503 New Michigan Jobs

In November of 2019, online home furnishing retailer Wayfair announced it would create 503 new jobs at a customer support center in Meridian Township.

Those 503 jobs would come at a cost of $2.5 million to state taxpayers through grants approved by the state agency in charge of delivering selective corporate and developer subsidies, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

However, this week it was announced that Wayfair has pulled the plug on the project, choosing instead to shift more toward employees working remotely from home.

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership is a regional corporate subsidy-granting agency representing Clinton, Ingham and Eaton counties.

LEAP president Bob Trezise said that his staff is not deterred by the decision, according to the Lansing State Journal.

LEAP would now be “doubling down efforts” Trezise said.

Economic development is more important than ever, according to Trezise.

There were about 4.36 million jobs in Michigan in 2019. The number is not static, constantly tugged both higher and lower as some employers add to their workforces while others reduce them. In the fourth quarter of 2019, for example, employers across the state eliminated 200,837 existing jobs while adding 219,196 jobs.

This constant "job churn" greatly exceeds the impact of one or a few companies' impact on the state economy.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.