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Economy

Governor Whitmer introduces plan for job growth, focusing on wages and childcare

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Courtesy Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Facebook Page
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined a plan Thursday to encourage more people to return to work as the COVID-19 crisis eases.

The policies to re-start Michigan’s economy include a temporary pay boost for low-wage jobs.

The plan would use federal dollars to help businesses boost pay rates to 15 dollars an hour for three months to help businesses attract workers, but they would have to promise to continue that pay rate for an additional three months.

“The market will drive what happens thereafter," Whitmer said. "This is our opportunity to support businesses getting back on their feet and, critically, support the people that do the hard work who need to take care of their families".

Whitmer said that providing higher wages would make it easier for low-income people to seek and accept jobs by giving them more of an incentive. The plan also calls for assistance with childcare costs and allowing people to accept part-time work without losing unemployment benefits.

"[We know] that child care is also a barrier; if you are worried about what’s going to happen to your kids if you go back to work, that’s a complete barrier for a lot of people in our state," Whitmer said. “So this is a creative way to help piece together all these supports to help our workforce and families, and would significantly help with the hiring crunch that a lot of businesses across our state are facing".

Much of the plan would require approval from the Republican-led Legislature.