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Whitmer’s Pandemic Recovery Boasts Not Supported By Real Employment Numbers

Her lockdowns shuttered twice as many businesses as the median figure for all states

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently boasted on Twitter about what she calls a “new era of prosperity for Michigan.” The governor pointed to accomplishments that include “boosting our economy and building a strong workforce.” In a later press release she noted, “Michigan’s future is bright, and I will continue working with anyone to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs for Michiganders.”

The state’s employment numbers tell a different story. There remain 122,400 fewer jobs here compared to the eve of the pandemic in February 2020. That’s a 2.7% decrease in total employment, which is the 15th worst in the country.

In contrast, employment levels in Indiana and 12 other states have fully recovered from pandemic-related job losses. While 20 more states are likely to accomplish the same this year, Michigan lags. The publication Real Clear Health describes in an April 13 story the continued economic fallout from Whitmer’s lockdown orders, which she decreed with no input from the Legislature more than two years ago. That article was co-written by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Director of Fiscal Policy James Hohman.

Whitmer’s administration imposed some of the nation’s harshest lockdown orders. At one point they shuttered more than 30% of all businesses in the state, which was twice as many as the median state.

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.