Some Lansing Residents Feel Jobs Are Becoming Scarce

Some Lansing area residents feel that jobs are scarce in the declining economy, but Josh Hovey, assistant to the mayor claims otherwise.
“Lansing has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state,” said Hovey, who went on to say that Lansing has done a good job of attracting both jobs that require a college education and companies with jobs that do not, like Demmer Corporation.
Econmagic.com has Lansing’s unemployment rate at 5.7, while the state of Michigan‘s unemployment rate is 7.1 according to http://www.milmi.org, which is the Michigan Labor Market Information website. The national unemployment rate is 4.8 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or http://www.bls.gov.
But according to the Lansing State Journal, a new study shows that Michigan is lagging behind other states in creating higher-waged jobs that require a college education. Lansing is supposedly one of the three largest cities included in this study, which was done by Ann Arbor based Michigan Future Inc.
Elbert Nickles, Jr., 39, agrees with the State Journal study. Nickles, who has worked at Michigan State Fraternal Order of Police for the past six months said that Lansing, and Michigan in general, are lacking in higher paying jobs.
“Since General Motors left, there has been a lack of job opportunities,” said Nickles.
Hovey acknowledges this fact, and adds that the state of the economy has a lot to do with the lack of jobs. “Lansing is traditionally a manufacturing town. General Motors closed a few plants, taking many jobs,” said Hovey.
Carmen Andrasko, who has been employed for the last nine years by Rite Aid, 1004 E. Michigan Ave, believes that Lansing’s government makes it harder for certain people to get jobs.
Andrasko is frustrated that her son, who is attending Lansing Community College, hasn’t been able to find a job. She said that everyone keeps telling him he needs a college degree first. She went on to say that it seems like Lansing is taking jobs away from and not bringing them into Lansing.
Hovey disagrees with this, saying that Lansing’s economic department is working constantly to bring more jobs to Lansing. He said Lansing is attracting new high-tech jobs such as Tech Smith Corp. and Liquid Web Inc.
The State Journal article on the study also says that Michigan’s per-capita income fell from 16th to 26th nationally, and that for the state to bounce back, more residents need college degrees.
The reason for this is so that Michigan can compete for jobs in information, finance and insurance management, professional technical services, health care and education according to the study referenced in the LSJ. In other words, there are plenty of jobs for those with degrees.
Though he believes Lansing is lacking in higher waged jobs for those without a college degree, Nickles doesn’t believe they’re lacking in jobs that require a college degree. He said he doesn’t think it’s hard to find a job, “It just depends on your skills and where you are able to work,” Nickles said.
And while many people find it easy to blame Governor Jennifer Granholm, Nickles says he thinks she is doing the best that she can with the situation that she has.
As quoted in the LSJ, this study says “Our best guess is that, unless we substantially increase the proportion of college educated adults in Michigan-particularly in our biggest metropolitan areas-we will continue to trend downwards in the per-capita, income…”.
Michigan Future Inc., who is conducting this study has a mission to provide new ideas on how Michigan’s people, enterprises and communities can succeed in the information age. Lou Glazer, the president of Michigan Future Inc. was unavailable for comments.

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