Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Over 15,700 New Jobs Announced Today

Big announcement from MEDC. 15,795 jobs expected to be created from nine companies and one brownfield development project makes the governor go on so...

This will probably bring another round of complaining from the Republicans who want to politicize job creation with the false claim that we shouldn't be offering these tax breaks, and instead should just eliminate business taxes altogether. Let's take a look at the companies involved and the breakdown on the numbers - pay close attention to the competition here:

  • Minacs Group USA in Southfield. 2,756 new jobs, including 1,928 directly by the company. Chose Michigan over a site in Ontario.

  • Aeroflex/Inmet, Scio Township. 288 total jobs, 47 directly by the company. They are based in New Jersey, and we were in competition for this expansion with the Garden State.

  • Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, Flint. They will be moving into the old Fisher Body Plant and making that their national headquarters. The company is growing at a 50% clip, and expects to hire 1,000 people within five years - and maybe up to 4,000 by 2028. The conversion of this plant will be the biggest since the Ford Wixom announcement. Read more about it at the excellent Tom Walsh Freep story here - and know that this company almost went to Ohio.

  • GalaxE. Solutions Inc., Detroit. 987 total jobs, including 500 directly by the company. Another one that we stole from New Jersey. Chris Christoff at the Freep takes a look at this one and other Detroit area jobs here.

  • Lenawee Stamping, Tecumseh, doing work for GM. 136 total jobs, 78 directly by the company. Ohio's loss is our gain.

  • Magna Holdings of America - four different locations; Auburn Hills, Troy, Lansing and Shelby Township. 1,828 new jobs, including 508 directly by the company. They wouldn't name names, just that we won these over "competing sites in other states".

  • Parker Hannifin, Kalamazoo. This aerospace manufacturer was a retention project, investing in $15.5 million to expand and keep 1,493 total jobs, including 608 directly by the company. A "competing state" remains anonymous.

  • PSCU Holding Services, Auburn Hills. 1,792 new jobs, 837 directly by the company. Florida and Arizona were in the running.

  • Tenneco Automotive, another with four different sites; Litchfield, Marshall, Grass Lake and Monroe. 684 total jobs, including up to 185 directly by the company over "competing sites in North America".

    Bottom line is: We have to offer these incentives. As long as every other state in the nation is playing this game, it would be economic suicide for us to stop. Peter Luke recently pointed that out again - and offered the only way this practice could be eliminated.

    Since states aren’t going to stop vying for jobs, the only way to end the race is through federal intervention. One idea would levy a federal corporate tax equal to 100 percent of state subsidies, so there would be no point in businesses playing states off each other.

    Until that happens Granholm and lawmakers, or their successors elected in November, have no choice but to compete against Tennessee, Indiana or Ohio for jobs. They wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t.

    It's very doubtful the feds would move to stop this. And when the Republicans say that eliminating all business taxes would do the same trick, the respected professionals at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research beg to differ in a study released a couple of weeks ago.

    The program created 16,700 more jobs than would have been created had the money socked into the tax breaks been used to cut the state's business tax rate, the researchers report.

    Keep in mind that MEGA credits are a "pay for performance" tax break - no jobs created, no write-off for the company. And yes, everyone is being vetted now, thankyouverymuch, hopefully that means no more surprises in that department.

    It's sad to have to defend economic success stories, but since certain Republican candidates feel the need to attack our strengths with their campaign rhetoric, it's good to get the facts out there. It's not a matter of "picking winners and losers" - it's a matter of getting these companies in the door in the first place. If we don't, some other state certainly will.