Proos: Michigan showing positive signs

LANSING – Sen. John Proos highlighted today several positive signs that efforts made last year to improve Michigan’s business climate and spark economic growth are working.

“Michigan is experiencing some very positive economic indicators, and that is outstanding news for Southwest Michigan families, job providers and job seekers,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We accomplished much last year to create a positive business environment that would allow small businesses to grow and attract new job providers to our state. As a result of these reforms Michigan is currently outpacing the nation in job creation with 80,000 new private sector jobs.”

Proos noted that Michigan’s unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent to 9.3 percent, and that the state had positive job growth in 2011 for the first time in more than a decade.

Cindy LaGrow of LaGrow Consulting agreed with Proos.

“I am currently working with Michigan Works! in Cass County on reinvigorating their Human Resources Council. This program is working to match workers with more than 200 available jobs through Cass County businesses,” LaGrow said. “After years of struggling, Michigan’s economy is finally improving. I see it every day in new opportunities and a new positive outlook by job creators.”

Another positive sign for the state is a report released in January by Smith Travel Research indicating that Michigan hotel occupancy levels (regarded as an accurate barometer of overall tourism outcomes) ended 2011 with the 5th highest percentage increase in the country.

“Tourism is an important part of the Southwest Michigan economy, employing thousands of workers and bringing millions of dollars to our communities,” Proos said. “We have faced more than our fair share of challenges, which makes the news of increased tourism, job creation and economic growth even more exciting. This is the kind of news that should make us proud to be Michiganians.”