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Obama Jobs Plan Could Help Mid-Michigan

Friday, September 9, 2011   (0 Comments)
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Mid-Michigan residents watching President Obama's jobs speech might've thought the President was talking about Lansing Thursday night.

After all, Lansing saw police officer, fire fighter and teacher layoffs over the summer, all positions the President wants to give cities billions of dollars to pay for.

Another problem the President looked to address in his plan was helping the long-term unemployed, a growing group in the state.

"The data shows almost half of [the unemployed] have been unemployed half a year so a lot of them are becoming very desperate," said Doug Stites, CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works.

President Obama called for a year-long extension of unemployment insurance benefits Thursday.

Yet another issue hitting Michigan hard is unemployment in the construction sector. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows statewide, there approximately 80,000 fewer construction workers on the job than there were a decade ago.

The President's jobs plan has $50 billion budgeted to repair old roads and bridges, and additional money set aside to upgrade old schools.

Mike Nystrom with the Michigan Infrastructure Transportation Association tells WILX investing in infrastructure gets good bang for the job-creating buck.

"There's no easier way to create jobs through government spending than through infrastructure," said Nystrom.

It was unclear Thursday night exactly how much of the proposed $447 billion jobs plan would come to Michigan if approved.

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