News Story

Whitmer (again) touts thousands of jobs that don’t exist

Governor misrepresents job announcements as jobs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer boasted in an Aug. 2 tweet that she has been successful in luring investments in battery manufacturing plants, claiming the subsidized plants will add thousands of jobs. But the record shows a different story.

“If you’re keeping score, when I took office, we had 0 battery manufacturing facilities. Soon we will have 5,” Whitmer wrote. “We’ve brought home more than $16 billion in projects and secured over 16,000 jobs building EVs, batteries, semiconductors and clean energy.”

The job numbers Whitmer cites in her tweet are potential future jobs that have been announced, not positions that are currently filled, available, or in the process of being created. Such misleading and sometimes false claims have been a hallmark of Whitmer’s administration.

Politicians often hype tax-paid subsidies to corporations by describing jobs projected as jobs themselves. In nearly all cases, the number of new jobs ends up being far smaller than the number announced.

State officials gave $100 million to Ford Motor Co. in 2022 and announced that the company was going to create 3,000 new jobs. Ford announced two months later that it was laying off 3,000 workers.

None of the plants noted in Whitmer’s tweet exist yet. There are not 16,000 jobs secured.

Whitmer’s tweet casts a negative light on one of her predecessors’ own outlandish job-creation claims. Michigan had 2,521 battery manufacturing jobs in 2022. This was up from 763 such jobs in 2011. Gov. Jennifer Granholm spent hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds trying to establish battery manufacturing through her green energy program. Yet there were no battery manufacturing facilities in the state when Whitmer took office, raising the question of what Michigan taxpayers got for their money last time.

Granholm also boasted that her administration’s subsidies would create thousands of new jobs and make Michigan the world hub of battery manufacturing. That never happened. Now Whitmer is making the same promise.

Whitmer’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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.