Economy, Jobs Continue to be Top Priority

June 20, 2008

Governor Granholm focuses on jobless rate in weekly radio address

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that efforts to grow the economy and create jobs will continue to be a top priority throughout the year.  She said that bipartisan legislative action is critical to combat the state's economic crunch.

"In January, when I delivered my State of the State address, I asked the Legislature to take swift action on a series of measures that could promote economic growth and create the jobs that we need in Michigan," Granholm said.  "Almost five months later, we've made some real progress, and we've seen genuine bipartisan cooperation in Lansing.  But we need to do more, and we need to do it now.

"Every day that we delay in enacting an economic stimulus package in Michigan is a day that is hurting Michigan families," Granholm added.  "Whenever we see an increase in the jobless rate in Michigan, we need to think of the hardship it can represent for our neighbors, our friends, and our relatives."

Already this year, the Granholm administration and state lawmakers have worked to enact the nation's most aggressive film incentive package, expand the state's business marketing and tourism promotion to their largest levels in state history, approved capital outlay funding for airport projects around the state, and enacted legislation to create Anchor Zones to encourage businesses to attract or expand their own supplier base - and the jobs they bring - in Michigan.

Earlier this week, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced a series of new company incentives that brings the total number of jobs created this year to almost 22,000.  Also earlier this week, the state House approved legislation that establishes a loan program designed to allow Michigan to better compete with other states to bring new jobs here.

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at (www.michigan.gov/gov) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

The Honorable Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - Jobless Rate
June 20, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov150_Full_238807_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov150_Edit_238808_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov150_Quote_238809_7.mp3   

This is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

You may have heard earlier this week that Michigan's unemployment rate took a big jump in the month of May.  As new job seekers - many of them young people - entered the work force, they weren't able to find the jobs they were looking for, pushing our unemployment rate to over 8 percent.

While any increase in the unemployment rate is unacceptable, Michigan can't escape the effects of $4-a-gallon gas, contraction in the automotive sector, and the sub-prime lending crisis that's battering the national economy.  The national jobless rate also soared in May, increasing by more in a single month than any time in more than 20 years.

As governor, I draw only one conclusion from this economic news:  Every day that we delay in enacting an economic stimulus package in Michigan is a day that is hurting Michigan families.

In January, when I delivered my State of the State address, I asked the Legislature to take swift action on a series of measures that could promote economic growth and create the jobs that we need in Michigan.  Almost five months later, we've made some real progress, and we've seen genuine bipartisan cooperation in Lansing.  But we need to do more, and we need to do it now.

Lawmakers in both parties have worked together to enact incentives that are bringing the film- making industry and its good-paying jobs to Michigan.  They have supported an expansion of our business and tourism marketing campaigns to bring new visitors and new employers to Michigan.  And we have taken important steps to make sure the emerging alternative energy industry takes root in Michigan.

This week, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced a series of new company incentives that brings the total number of jobs created this year to almost 22,000.  But in the light of our latest economic news, we need to do more - relentlessly. 

We need energy legislation that will help keep utility rates affordable in the future and bring alternative energy companies and tens of thousands of new jobs to Michigan.  We need to finalize approval of necessary building projects at community colleges, universities, and airports that will put people to work in construction jobs across Michigan. 

These are all steps that will create a stronger economy in Michigan; an economy that can produce the jobs we need.   

Whenever we see an increase in the jobless rate in Michigan, we need to think of the hardship it can represent for our neighbors, our friends and our relatives.  And then we need to get back to work to do all we can to bring more good-paying jobs to Michigan.

Thank you for listening.