MLPP Blog: Factually Speaking

High poverty, unemployment harm economic growth

Added December 22nd, 2014 by Alicia Guevara Warren | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alicia Guevara Warren

Often touted as the “Comeback State,” Michigan’s economic recovery has not included everyone as reflected in the state’s high poverty and unemployment rates. Leaving people behind will only hinder Michigan’s potential economic growth, which has already showed signs of slowing.

A recent report ranking states based on multiple indicators of economic security and opportunity reveals the state’s major lack of investment in its people. On almost every factor from poverty to education to affordable housing, Michigan is ranked worst or second-worst among the Midwest states. (more…)

Latino students face barriers to opportunity

Added October 13th, 2014 by Alicia Guevara Warren | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alicia Guevara Warren

As Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations come to an end, we must recognize the ongoing struggles of Latino children—a growing component of Michigan’s next workforce.

A recent report revealed that over the past decade, reading and math scores for Latino students in Michigan have fallen when compared to other Latinos across the country, a direct reflection of the state’s insufficient investments in educational programs that work for all students. (more…)

Census numbers tell of stagnancy and slow recovery

Added September 18th, 2014 by Peter Ruark | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Peter Ruark

Today is the big day that comes each year: the release of American Community Survey figures on income and poverty.

Ready for some numbers?

Michigan’s household median income in 2013 ($48,273) was a bit higher than in 2012, but is nearly $1,000 lower than in 2009. The income bracket that grew the largest from 2009 to 2013 was the share of Michigan households who make under $10,000 a year. The only other income bracket with a significant share increase was households making more than $200,000 a year. These numbers taken together suggest that the slow economic recovery in Michigan is primarily benefiting those at higher incomes. (more…)

Healthcare coverage on the upswing

Added September 16th, 2014 by Judy Putnam | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Judy Putnam

There is some good news out today in terms of health insurance.

The share of uninsured people in Michigan fell from 11.4% in 2012 to 11% in 2012, according to today’s Census Bureau release, with major additional improvements expected ahead due to the Affordable Care Act.

Still, more than 1 million in Michigan were without health insurance in 2013, according to the Census Bureau. That number is expected to decline dramatically as the Healthy Michigan Plan (Michigan’s Medicaid expansion), Marketplace enrollment and other provisions in the Affordable Care Act get counted in the numbers that will be released next fall. (more…)


Added July 22nd, 2014 by Judy Putnam | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Judy Putnam

Life for Michigan kids improved in important ways since 1990 with fewer children dying and fewer births to teens, the 25th edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book, released today, finds.

These are heartening trends because they prove that good public policy does make a positive difference. For example, the state’s graduated driver’s license helped reduced the number of teens dying on the highway and sustained public health and education campaigns resulted in fewer teen pregnancies. (more…)

F for no effort: Michigan fails working families

Added July 7th, 2014 by Yannet Lathrop | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Yannet Lathrop

Workplace policies have been on the minds of many over the past two years, with minimum wage and right-to-work rising to the top of debate in Michigan.

Yet, two important labor issues have not received nearly as much thought, despite their relevance to a wide number of Michiganians: paid sick days, and family and medical leave.

A new report by the National Partnership for Women and Families, Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws that Help New Parents, could bring this issue the attention it requires. According to the report, Michigan is one of 17 states to score an F in family-friendly workplace laws for new parents, and it is the only Great Lakes state to receive this grade. Other states in the failing grade category include Alabama and Mississippi. (more…)

Mapping the facts

Added October 3rd, 2013 by Melissa K. Smith | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Melissa K. Smith

Did you know that Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world?  That would certainly explain why we have more lighthouses than any other state.  Michigan also has the largest state park and state forest system of any state and is the biggest producer of tart cherries in the United States.

Click here to go to Mapping the Facts

But it also has the 15th-highest poverty rate in the nation and the fourth-highest unemployment rate.  And while one in every four children in the state lives in poverty, it’s much higher in Lake County where almost half of all children live below the poverty line, the highest in the state.  And while you may know that Isabella County has the highest poverty rate in Michigan at 30%, did you know that Clare County has a higher poverty rate than Wayne County?  Or that Baraga County has the highest unemployment rate and Washtenaw County the lowest? (more…)

Two steps forward….

Added October 2nd, 2013 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs
From the First Tuesday newsletter
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Tuesday marked two beginnings: The start of a new state budget year and the launch of the enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace — all while the specter of a federal shutdown begins.

The Oct. 1 start of the state fiscal year represents our big opportunity to address inequities, close gaps and set the investments for the future of Michigan. The new budget has a mixed record in that regard. To be applauded is the impressive bipartisan effort, led by Gov. Rick Snyder, to expand Medicaid in our state. As a result, we will be able to pay for the medical care of hundreds of thousands of uninsured adults in Michigan using available federal dollars. (more…)

Moving in the wrong direction

Added September 30th, 2013 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data confirms what we all suspected. While there have been improvements in the economy, it has not been enough to float all boats, and state poverty rates, especially for children, remain 25% to 30% above pre-recession levels.

Certainly there have been cuts in state and local services in Michigan that affected low-income families with children, thwarting their opportunities to share in the American dream by earning enough through hard work to move into the middle class. Deep cuts in basic income assistance have forced more children into extreme poverty, exposing them to homelessness and hunger, and creating barriers to academic success. A failure to invest in child care for low-income families has resulted in fewer parents having the care they need to secure and retain jobs that support their children. (more…)

Michigan’s child poverty unacceptably high

Added September 19th, 2013 by Jane Zehnder-Merrell | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jane Zehnder-Merrell

Michigan’s child poverty rate now matches those of Florida and West Virginia, according to the latest data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. All the states with child poverty rates higher than that of Michigan are located in the South or Southwest where overall child well-being lags national averages.

Although Michigan’s child poverty rate didn’t continue its upward climb in 2012, it is stagnating at a relatively high level—affecting roughly one of every four children. More than half a million children in Michigan lived in a family with income below the federal poverty level ($23,300 for a family of four and $18,500 for a single parent with two children). Roughly half of these children live in families in extreme poverty—with annual income below $10,000. (more…)

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