Economy

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.


Barbara Ehrenreich photo
Courtesy photo / Barbara Ehrenreich

"Nickel and Dimed" author Barbara Ehrenreich will visit East Lansing tonight. Current State talks with her about her work on income inequality.


Peter Spadafore photo
WKAR File Photo

The Lansing Board of Education has wrapped up a series of public forums on a multi-million dollar bond proposal that will go before voters next year. We talk with the president of the Board of Education, Peter Spadafore about what voters have had to say about the Pathway Promise plan.


A program this weekend in Lansing teaches the basics of building a micro-business to youth aged 13 and older. It’s organized by the Lansing community organization, the NorthWest Initiative. Current State talks with Executive Director Peggy Vaughn-Payne.


The United Auto Workers Union has decided to target Fiat/Chrysler in their current round of talks with Detroit's Big Three automakers. Current State talks with Daniel Howes about the negotiations and other topics he's writing about for the Detroit  News.


Michigan prof co-authors book about life on $2 a day

Sep 14, 2015

A University of Michigan is co-author of the recent book “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.” Current State's Melissa Benmark talks about the book with author Luke Shaefer.


MSU prof traces MI’s shrinking middle class

Sep 10, 2015
Charley Ballard photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

“America’s disappearing middle class” is probably a term you’ve heard thrown around in the news lately. But what does that actually mean? We talk to MSU economist Charley Ballard about how the middle class is faring here in Michigan and what its future looks like.


Lansing City Market photo
Courtesy photo / Lansing City Market

Leaders of the Lansing City Market say it's about to enter another phase, with more vendors and more attractions, and they say they hope to announce a deal soon with a new anchor tenant. Current State talks with the market's new director, Audrey Tipper, and the CEO of the Lansing Public Entertainment and Facilities Authority, Scott Keith.


MI small business leader wary of tax hike proposals

Aug 13, 2015

Are the state’s small businesses healthy or hurting? And why? Current State speaks with Small Business Association of Michigan President and CEO Rob Fowler.


Five dollar bill photo
F Delventhal / Flickr Creative Commons

The two-year-old Lansing Financial Empowerment Center is launching a new program called “Lansing SAVE.” An automatic child savings account will be opened when enrolling in kindergarten in a Lansing public school. Current State talks with Lansing SAVE director Jayme King, and San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros, who started a similar program there.


 Alicia Guevara Warren photo with Mark Bashore
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Unemployment in Michigan is at its lowest point in 14 years, but the state’s economic recovery hasn’t reached everyone yet. In fact, the number of children living in poverty has actually increased since the end of the Great Recession.


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