GUEST VIEW: State economy slowly healing

The following editorial was published in the Sept. 21 edition of the Midland Daily News:

While the numbers aren’t that big, it appears that things are improving in Michigan, as well as across the nation as the Great Recession of 2008 gets smaller in our rearview mirrors.

Numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau, in its annual report on poverty, shows that the poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent, down from 15 percent in 2012, down for the first time since 2006. The drop is attributed to the number of jobs that have been created since then.

“There is reason to believe that this progress has continued into 2014, as the labor market has strengthened and millions have gained health insurance coverage,” said Jason Furman and Betsey Stevenson, members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “At the same time, the data also offer a clear illustration of the large amount of work that remains to strengthen the middle class in the wake of the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

Other numbers show a strengthening economy, too. In Michigan, household incomes rose 1.7 percent and the number of children in poverty dropped.

Census officials also say that the number of children under 18 in poverty declined from the previous year for the first time since 2000, from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013, and the number of children in poverty also declined from 16.1 million to 14.7 million.

If the officials are right, and we have every reason to believe they are, the numbers will be even better this year as the economy, despite major inaction in Washington, will continue to heal itself.

If so, we all will be better off.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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