GRAND RAPIDS, MIch. (WOOD) - It was the first back-and-forth during Monday night's WOOD TV8debate between the two Democrats hoping to lead Michigan.
House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford Twp.) took issue withLansing Mayor Virg Bernero's claims of job creation in Lansing.
The mayor's campaign website touts 6,000 jobs created andretained since he came into office. And Bernero touted his jobcreation record during the debate.
But Dillon said the city of Lansing actually lost jobs duringBernero's tenure.
"I'm not going to criticize him for that; the state has gonethrough tough times," the speaker said. "But when he says he'screated 6,000 jobs and the jobs have shrunk, we have to questionwhat's been done in Lansing."
In some ways, both men are right.
The Lansing Economic Development Corporation reports about 5,300jobs were created through projects during the Bernero years.
When retained jobs are added -- the jobs leaders say theyprevented from leaving the city -- the figure tops 6,000.
But at the same time, the Michigan Labor Market Informationoffice told 24 Hour News 8 total employment in the city of Lansingdropped from 60,958 in 2006, when Bernero took office, to 56,859 in2009.
So what explains the difference?
City leaders did push job creation projects during those years,but it wasn't enough to stem the overall tide of job loss.
The state of Michigan has similarly touted job creation --specifically, the projects that have received state incentives --in the midst of overall job loss in recent years.
WOOD TV8 will host and broadcast a debate Thursday withRepublican candidates for governor. All have said they will attendwith the exception of Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder. You cansubmit your questions by email to email@example.com on the WOOD TV8 Facebook page.
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