News Bite

GM-state electric-car deal makes headlines, does little for Michigan economy

73 jobs added to the economy in one quarter for every one job GM pledges to create

When General Motors announced plans in January to locate four electric vehicle assembly plants in Michigan, it generated international media attention.

The plan is contingent on Michigan taxpayers paying out $824.1 million in state subsidies in return for 3,200 jobs promised by the automaker.

That may sound like a lot of jobs. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the regular annual job churn that is part of modern economies. In a dynamic economy such as Michigan’s, thousand of jobs routinely disappear and thousands of news ones are added. In good times, more new jobs appear than existing ones disappear. In hard times the opposite happens and unemployment rises.

Michigan’s economy saw 234,583 new jobs appear in the third quarter of 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the same period, 217,395 other jobs in the state disappeared.

To put the addition of 3,200 subsidized jobs in perspective, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s corporate welfare agency, would have to generate the equivalent 68 new GM electric car plants every three months just to stay even with job losses.

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.