Michigan’s great economic comeback continues

Michigan’s economy has been greatly improving over the past six years. During that time, more than 466,000 private sector jobs have been created. Over the past year, 91,000 jobs have been created in Michigan, and economists project more than 61,000 jobs will be created across Michigan this year and even more in 2017.

On top of that, Michigan’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent for the month of June — the lowest point in 15 years!

Our unemployment rate has also remained below the national average for several months. Simply put, Michigan is in the middle of a big economic comeback!

But the good news doesn’t end there.

According to state officials, the state’s labor market in early 2016 has continued to strengthen. Michigan’s workforce grew by nearly 3 percent over the past year, far outpacing the national gain of 1.2 percent.

It’s clear that this marks yet another positive chapter in Michigan’s comeback story. We have a lot of positive momentum as we continue toward 2017, and the Michigan Senate Republicans will continue to work hard to make sure our comeback story doesn’t fail.

This good news is evidence that the reforms we have helped to put in place over the past several years are working. As we all remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that Michigan had the highest unemployment rate in the country.

We’ve come too far these past few years to allow the failed policies of the past to haunt us again. The Michigan Senate Republicans are committed to keeping our comeback story going for years to come!

2016 accomplishments – First 6 months

As June comes to a close, it’s a great time to look back at the achievements we’ve made so far in 2016.

For starters, let’s remember how far we’ve come. Under Republican leadership, Michigan has added more than 450,000 private sector jobs and our state unemployment rate dropped below the national average for the first time since August 2000.

In fact, at 4.7 percent, Michigan’s unemployment rate has been cut in half since January 2011, is at its lowest rate in 15 years, and is more than 10 points lower than it was in June 2009.

It’s no surprise then, that the PEW Charitable Trusts declared Michigan as “maybe the biggest success story” in the nation.

Let’s look at what we’ve accomplished in the first six months of 2016…

For the sixth year in the row, the Senate Republicans passed a fiscally responsible budget months ahead of schedule that maintains our positive momentum, ensures we live within our means and continues our unwavering support of public education.

We have always led the fight for greater funding for our local schools and more choice in education.

In fact, Michigan is investing more this year on K-12 education than ever in state history. The finalized Fiscal Year 2017 budget directs more than $14 billion to education — increasing support by more than $260 million and paying down more than $1 billion in school retirement costs, which will help schools put additional dollars into the classroom.

Senate Republicans acted promptly to the Flint water crisis and appropriated more than $211 million in much needed emergency relief to address the immediate health needs of the people of Flint, as well as putting another $74.6 million in the new budget.

We believe in the sanctity of life. It’s a tragedy when a child dies, and no one should profit from the trafficking of human fetal remains. We put an end to that horrific practice in 2016 with the signing of Senate Bills 564 and 565.

In 2016, we stood up for our heroes — securing more funding to assist homeless veterans and create a new Veterans Home Ombudsman to ensure our veterans receive the proper care they earned serving our nation.

We also helped encourage more parents to take their children outdoors, by guaranteeing free access to state boating access sites and certain state parks during the state’s two free fishing weekends.

While we accomplished much already in 2016, the Michigan Senate Republicans remain committed to working tirelessly to build upon these successes and continue to improve our state for future generations.