Six months ago we declared Michigan’s economic turnaround had begun based on the dramatic reforms being passed in Lansing that align with the Michigan Turnaround Plan and the optimism these changes were fueling among our members – Michigan’s largest job providers. The skeptics wanted to wait until the hard data came in. Now it has and it says Michigan is in full turnaround mode.
Michigan’s unemployment level has dropped faster than the national average while personal income and the overall level of economic output is rising faster than most states over the past year. The rebound of our automotive industry and the manufacturing sector have been major drivers of these improvements and underscore the importance of continuing to support these critical businesses. But the state’s turnaround is also being powered by businesses from all sectors, large and small, that are gaining renewed confidence in Michigan as a place that is finally committed to a long-term turnaround.
When Business Leaders for Michigan unveiled the Michigan Turnaround Plan in 2009, we thought it would take five years to implement most of the recommendations and another five to see major results. In one year, thanks to a tremendous commitment from Gov. Snyder, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and House Speaker Jase Bolger to accelerate Michigan’s job recovery and return our state to prosperity, much of the original Michigan Turnaround Plan either has been fully or partially addressed. We are already seeing tangible economic benefits. From adopting long-term budget plans and aligning public sector employee benefits with the private sector to getting Michigan’s business taxes in line with other states and reforming archaic regulations, Michigan is on a path to global competitiveness.
One year doesn’t complete an economic turnaround and, after a decade of decline, Michigan will need several more years of progress to accelerate growth as fast as we would like. But 2011 was the year the state’s long-awaited turnaround began. Happy New Year 2012 – you have a hard act to follow.