The order of business this week is to first cast a vote; it’s an act that may provide a lever for venting and a sigh of relief that ends the abominable cacophony of minute-after-minute ads of distortion.
Vote, so we can get back to business, back to work. The regional and national economic numbers certainly inspire confidence going forward, but “lack of skilled workers” and deficits in many industries, especially transportation, provide pause before any celebration.
Grand Rapids Business Journal provides a report on the Northwood University economic outlook study that evaluated the declining purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, identifying signals for reform from the industrialized world’s highest corporate income tax rate endured in the U.S. to the worst labor force participation rate (62.7) since 1978.
The study’s author, NU Free Market Economics endowed professor Timothy Nash, noted, “Wages have not kept up with inflation. In fact, for the fourth year in a row, average household income in America did not keep up with inflation, and that affects businesses, and people’s ability to buy things, pay for products, or to have a higher standard of living.”
In a late summer interview with Michigan Public Radio, Lou Glazer, Michigan Future president and co-founder, discussed the issue saying, “When you look at the package employers have put together to attract people to the industry, it ain’t so great.”
During the same program, W.E. Upjohn Institute senior regional analyst George Erickcek noted, “To enable a better manufacturing workforce, we need to create more job stability.”
The effort to balance business costs, especially taxes, assuredly needs federal reform. Such improvement offers greater opportunity for employers to provide improved wages and benefit packages.
In the Business Journal’s economic outlook story, Erickcek also notes stagnant wage growth over the past 10 years. He also noted in the Upjohn quarterly Business Outlook for West Michigan issued in September that stagnant incomes and modest price increases have slowed the pace in the housing market.
Politics aside, business is bustling again, help-wanted postings are frequent and competitive wage offers are necessary.
Government is a facilitator; business is a creator.