Job Growth Booms in Mid Michigan

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LANSING (WILX)-- Could 2013 bring an economic boom to mid-Michigan? It's looking that way after more than 2,000 jobs have been announced since the first of the year.

Tuesday we learned Jackson National Life is expanding. It's a move that will create 1,000 insurance jobs in the area. Add in another 400 manufacturing jobs and 300 retail jobs, and mid-Michigan has a hiring boom on its hands.

The boom started 6 months ago when DART announced an expansion with SOLO that will add 100 new jobs.

Since then Two men and a truck announced that they will be adding 125 new jobs, and L and W engineering announced that they will be adding 340 jobs. General Motors is expanding Lansing Grand River Plant, adding 150 new jobs. Meijer is going to be adding 300 warehouse jobs. Hopcat will add 75 new jobs, and Magna's Norplas Industries is adding as many as 400 jobs. All to the lansing area.

"Today I'm the happiest mayor in America and the luckiest mayor to represent a city like this," said Virg Bernero.

Why are companies looking to expand in lansing? Bernero says it's location, government, and opportunity.

"If businesses can find the employees that they are here looking for, then it's advantageous to come," said Edythe Hatter-Williams with Capitol Area Michigan Works

Bernero says he and LEAP have been working hard to bring more jobs to the Lansing area. The results are just now starting to pile up, and they are still working on bringing more businesses for the future.

"We are competing every day, hand to hand combat, fox hole to fox hole. All to create jobs and opportunities for our people," said Bernero.

Unemployment in Lansing has gone down from 7.7 percent in March of last year to 6.7 percent this year.

"We are leading the state in terms of our economic recovery," said Bernero.

It's a start, but that doesn't mean the economy is back to 100 percent.

"Even though we are starting to see growth we are still a long way away from where we were back in 2008," said Hatter-Williams.

"A lot of people are still looking for work. That's why I'm most excited. It's jobs, it's opportunity, and it's hope in a very real sense," said Bernero.

Michigan Works will hold its Meijer job fair this Thursday, May 2nd from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. The event will be held at the Michigan Works center on Cedar Street in Lansing. Applications for any of the 300 of the warehouse positions will be accepted.