Despite Challenges, Michigan Can Work to Remove New ‘Closed for Business’ Sign

Michigan employers continue to face a severe labor shortage, slowing down business growth. Unfortunately, these challenges are compounded by a declining state population and the misguided actions of our elected leaders.

Michigan’s population dropped for the second straight year in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The drop in population was slight, but it’s a warning sign. What’s especially troubling is that the majority of U.S. states increased their population during the same period.

A skilled, available, and qualified workforce is essential for Michigan to become a top 10 state. Although many factors contribute to a population’s decline, the simple truth is that our elected officials need to help give residents more reasons to stay in Michigan.

The state’s recent out-migration statistics also are a sad reminder of the “Lost Decade” of 2000-2010. Michigan families struggled immensely as their personal incomes plummeted. Many of us remember those Friday job announcements when our state’s unemployment rate got worse and worse until it reached double digits.

We can’t go back to that era when the failed economic policies of the early 2000s forced our children and grandchildren to leave our state in droves.

Unfortunately, more misguided policies are now being enacted in Lansing. With the repeal of the state’s right-to-work law, our elected leaders have draped a “Closed for Business” sign across our entire state. This decision could also lead to more “For Sale” signs across people’s front yards unless our elected leaders change course.

Michigan must advance policies that encourage businesses to grow jobs in our state while working to reimagine our failing K-12 education system. For one, we need to better prepare high-school students for in-demand jobs through enhanced skilled trades training.

These challenges are not insurmountable. We wholeheartedly believe better days are ahead. Please contact your local legislators and tell them to work to enact pro-business, pro-economy measures to help Michigan take its rightful place as a top 10 state economically.