News Story

Whitmer touts 38,000 jobs ‘announced’ but not created

Michigan has lost 2,600 auto jobs since Whitmer’s election

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer touted “announced” auto jobs instead of actual jobs created in a press release supporting a new legislative package for more taxpayer-funded corporate handouts.

“Since I took office, we have announced 38,000 new auto jobs and driven unemployment to historic lows,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer has previously announced that auto jobs were being “created” but was accused of misleading the public because announced jobs don’t equate to jobs created. In a 2023 news release, the governor claimed to have “secured” 35,000 auto jobs.

Jobs data show more losses than gains in the auto sector since Whitmer took office. Michigan leaders are often quick to issue press releases about taxpayer-funded jobs that will be coming to Michigan. These jobs usually do not come to fruition.

Since Whitmer became governor, Michigan has lost 2,600 auto jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rest of the nation has added 61,000 auto jobs. The governor’s recent auto jobs announcement is not the first.

“Since I took office, we have announced over 30,000 good-paying auto jobs including major investments from the Big Three and projects building electric vehicles,” Whitmer said in an October 2022 press release.

This is not an accurate statement, nor was it true at the time Whitmer said it. CapCon reported on the discrepancy in 2022. The Detroit Free Press also criticized the governor’s misleading claims.

When Whitmer was previously questioned about how she determined her job numbers, Clara Hendrickson from the Detroit Free Press reported:

Whitmer spokesperson Bobby Leddy wrote in an email that the jobs figure from the governor is ‘a conservative estimate’ of the jobs auto manufacturers and suppliers have announced since 2019 as part of auto manufacturing expansions supported by the state.

In May, Whitmer claimed she has grown Michigan’s economy since she won her first term in 2018. From 2018-23, Michigan’s population declined by 33,349 people, a 0.3% decrease that is the ninth-worst record in the country. By contrast, the U.S. population increased by 1.9%.

Michigan ranks 49th in job growth since 2020, according to the Michigan Growing Council.

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.