Economy

Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Michigan’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in almost 15 years. But while the economy is on the upswing, not all Michigan workers are feeling the recovery. And that’s had an impact on political allegiances for both sides of the aisle.

Current State's Mark Bashore talks to Bridge Magazine reporters Ted Roelofs and Nancy Derringer about who the economic recovery isn’t reaching and how those workers have influenced the presidential primaries.

Havana church photo
Andrzej Wrotek / flickr creative commons

After more than five decades of political isolation, Cuba is building new ties with the United States. We talk with a Michigan State University professor and Cuba expert, as well as one of her students who’s recently returned from the island nation.


Willow Run map image
Courtesy image / American Center for Mobility

On March 28, 1941, a small army of construction workers began clearing a five-square mile patch of land near Ypsilanti. The Willow Run bomber plant was the largest aircraft manufacturing facility ever built. Now, 75 years later, Willow Run’s proud legacy of innovation continues.


Niowave building photo
File photo / WKARLansing Mayor Virg Bernero gave his annual State of the City address last night. We talk with Eric Lacy of the Lansing State Journal about the mayor’s remarks.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero gave his annual State of the City address last night. We talk with Eric Lacy of the Lansing State Journal about the mayor’s remarks.


Detroit house
Courtesy photo / http://auctions.buildingdetroit.org/home

Current State talks with Frank Altman of the Community Reinvestment Fund about the Detroit Home Mortgage Program.


Mark Meadows and Mike Moquin
Scott Pohl / WKAR

The city of East Lansing has appointed a Financial Health Review Team to examine the city’s long-term commitments and budgeting needs. We talk with Mayor Mark Meadows and the committee’s chairman, Mike Moquin.


Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

How do Michigan residents feel about the economy and President Obama these days? Hundreds of Michigan residents shared their views for the latest State of the State survey.  We look over the results with survey director Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann of MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.


Analysts see signs of healthy MI economy in 2016

Jan 5, 2016
tales of a wandering youkai / flickr creative commons

Analysts are forecasting Michigan’s six-year economic upswing will continue in 2016, but not as noticeably as in recent years. Matt Dolan of the Detroit Free Press spoke with those analysts and shares some details.


Food Processing and Innovation Center
Courtesy image / Michigan State University

Michigan is known for its strong agricultural industry. In the Lansing area, plans are moving forward to create the Michigan Food Innovation District. We talk with the two co-managers of the project, David Spencer and Brent Forsberg.


After nearly a decade of historically low interest rates, the Federal Reserve is tapping ever so slightly on the economic gas pedal. The Fed’s one-quarter percent rate hike is designed to head off inflation. We talk with MSU economist Charley Ballard and Community Bankers of Michigan general counsel Michael Kus about the implications of the interest rate hike for Michigan.


Report: MI lags in knowledge-based economy

Dec 10, 2015
Photo of money
Flickr - Keith Cooper

A new report indicates that Michigan is a low-prosperity state, and that isn't likely to change unless adjustments are made. Current State speaks with Lou Glazer of Michigan Future.


Greater Lansing Food Bank photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Caring for the poor and hungry is a natural impulse for many people around the holidays. Food banks tend to be busy in December, moving product in and out. Here in mid-Michigan, the Greater Lansing Food Bank is confronting an issue facing many others across the country: more demand, yet fewer donations. Current State's Kevin Lavery speaks with executive director Joe Wald.


Mickey Hirten photo
WKAR File Photo

Lansing has had another strong year in terms of tourism for the region. Will 2016 likely be as strong? In other business news, Michigan legislators are taking a close look at the property taxation of big-box stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart. We get an update on these and other local business issues with Mickey Hirten of the Lansing City Pulse and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly.


Kean's photo
Courtesy photo / Kean's store

In Mason, a favorite store has reopened after being closed to repair damage after a fire this summer. Current State’s Scott Pohl takes us to Kean’s to see what’s the same, and what’s new, at the downtown landmark.


Census data shows MI poverty rate not improving

Dec 7, 2015
Peter Ruark photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released economic data covering 2014. One Lansing policy analyst says it shows recent improvement in some key benchmarks, including median household income. We talk with Peter Ruark, a policy analyst from the Michigan League for Public Policy.


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