News Story

Whitmer makes untrue claims about Michigan’s job recovery

Whitmer says unemployment level is lowest since the ‘70s: It isn’t

Michigan’s “unemployment is down to 3.8%, comparable to the lowest levels since the 1970s,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tweeted May 23.

The governor’s claim was accompanied by a meme from the movie “Mean Girls,” continuing, “We’re investing in good-paying jobs and putting more money in people’s pockets.”

Whitmer, however, fought a recent tax cut set forth by a previous legislative term.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that Michigan’s lowest unemployment rate since the 1970s is 3.2%, which occured in February 2000, according to James Hohman, the Mackinac Center’s director of fiscal policy.

Michigan’s current unemployment rate is just a little more than where the state was before the pandemic at 3.7%.

More than three years have passed since Whitmer exercised unlawful unilateral emergency powers to shut down businesses, and the state has still not recovered.

“Michigan’s economy is falling behind the growth of other states and the governor’s policies have only made it worse,” said Hohman.

While Michigan has struggled with a weak economic recovery and high inflation, Whitmer fought to prevent an automatic tax rollback that would have put more money in people’s pockets.

The labor force participation rate, defined as those within a population who are working or looking for work, was 60.2% in April, down more than a percentage point from 61.3% in February 2020, the month before the pandemic emergency was declared.

Michigan’s employment growth is the eighth-weakest in the nation, and it has the tenth-weakest labor force participation. Thirty other states have fully recovered. Michigan is lagging, not leading, in economic growth.

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.