MIRS Weekly Report

Michigan News And Capitol Report, Week Ending Friday, August 12th, 2022

Job Growth Pegged At 8.8% Through 2030; Top 50 Jobs Require Training

At the 2022 Michigan Occupational Outlook Conference, the Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) presented the latest round of long term statewide employment projects, with Michigan's growth from 2020 to 2030 projected at 374,930 jobs, or 8.8%. 

The DTMB joined forces with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to host the state's fifth annual conference at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. 

The projections they presented found leisure and hospitality industries leading the pack with 98,320 estimated jobs added, or 30.4%. 

Education and health services were close behind with 97,300 new jobs expected. Of the health services, outpatient services like ambulatory health will lead, adding around 40% of all new jobs created in the sector, said Kevin Doyle, analytics manager for the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives (LMISI) within the DTMB. 

Many high growth rates in top sectors are the result of pandemic recovery, Doyle said. 

Other sectors of the market have been greatly affected by new technology and Michigan's aging population, which has resulted in an accelerating move from brick and mortar retail, he added. As the large Michigan population cohort of baby boomers ages out of the workforce, further employment growth may be difficult to achieve without a labor force increase. 

But sales and related occupations are up 3% and 12,030 jobs, though office and administrative support occupations are not projecting growth. 

Other Michigan occupations are in decline, such as farming, fishing and forestry.

In addition, mining is expected to lose 730 jobs, a decline of just around 2%. 

At the conference, the interdepartmental collaboration also released Michigan's Career Outlook, a list of the highest demand jobs based on education level, and Michigan's Hot 50, with the top high-demand, high-wage careers through 2030. The brochure includes projected annual openings, hourly wage range, job growth information and the education or training level required. 

Of the Michigan's Career Outlook list, architectural and engineering managers were projected to make the most at $58 to $78 per hour and 860 annual openings. The career has a growth rate of 8.2% and was placed in the STEM category. Nurse practitioners have the highest growth rate of 50.7%, with 595 annual openings earning $48 to $60 hourly, although that position requires a Bachelor's degree or higher. 

When looking at growth by educational group, jobs requiring an Associate's degree or long-term training were projected to grow by 10.2%, while those requiring four year degrees were expected to rise 9.8%. 

Jobs requiring high school diplomas are also being driven by recovery from deep Covid-era declines, Doyle said. 

Of Michigan's Hot 50, 37 occupations require a Bachelor's degree or higher, said Evan Linskey, research manager for the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives within the DTMB. He added that the numbers for this year are very similar to projections from two years back. 

“And all occupations within our Hot 50 require at least some type of training,” he said. Seven of the jobs are listed as skilled trades, seven are in STEM and 13 require more than a high school diploma but less than a Bachelor's degree. 

Linskey said 35 of the jobs on this year's list are repeats from the previous year, but additions include civil engineers, dental hygienists, flight attendants, human resources specialists and police officers. 

The highest paying occupation on the list is, like Michigan's Career Outlook, architectural and engineering managers, while sales representatives of non-technical goods have the most job openings at 8,240. That industry is growing by 9.6% and reps make between $21 and $40 on average hourly.

The wide range of career options that require some sort of training highlight the need to prioritize education across the state, said Susan Corbin, director of LEO. 

“LEO has worked closely with our friends at LMISI to monitor the latest economic data that shapes our programs and policy recommendations,” Corbin said.

She said the strong bipartisan budget will help increase access to education and close the skills gap, along with programs like Futures for Frontliners, which was launched in 2020 to provide scholarship funding for frontline workers. Corbin said 26,000 workers have been enrolled, and 2,000 are already receiving degrees.

She also mentioned Michigan Reconnect, a program to expand tuition free education access for adults 25 and older, which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced last week has accepted 100,000 Michiganders. 

But barriers still exist to keep people away from higher education, she said, including childcare and strict class schedules. 

Though secondary education has not seen a decline in enrollment, the pandemic has been enlightening in terms of what higher education needs to do in terms of emphasis areas, said Jena Baker-Calloway, director of the MSU Detroit Center. 

She said expanding online education and connecting with employers to see what they require are good first steps to making sure students are prepared to join the workforce. 

“If we’re not doing that, then we’ve got a long way to go,” she said.

Michigan On The Verge Of New Record For Female Legislators

By any measure, Emily Dievendorf's 25-vote win over Jon Horford in the 77th House District Democrat primary on Tuesday was a surprise.

Horford had many more endorsements. He raised four times more money. He put out five mailers. He knocked on 30,000 doors. Dievendorf's efforts were not as intense.

That may not be Tuesday's biggest surprise in state Legislative races, though.

That's reserved for Kimberly Edwards, who spent less than $1,000 to unseat Rep. Richard Steenland (D-Roseville) four years after now-Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D-Detroit) pulled off an upset win over then Sen. David Knezek and now-Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) captured a surprise victory over then-Rep. Patrick Green.

Not taking anything away from any of the aforementioned candidates, but female candidates across the state and across the country are seeing more successes at the ballot box. 

The year 2022 will be the first time in Michigan history both major-party gubernatorial candidates are female. Meanwhile, both Secretary of State candidates are female as well.

In the Michigan House and Senate there were 109 female candidates in 2022, continuing an upward trend, according to numbers compiled by the Center for American Women In Politics (CAWP).

Based on last Tuesday's results, a bare minimum of 47 won their races on Tuesday and are projected to win the general election this coming November. Realistically, 65 could win. The record for most women Michigan legislators is 53 from 2018.

These numbers are up markedly from 2014 (31 women winners), 2010 (30), 2006 (29) and 2002 (35), based on CAWP's research.

In 1980 nationwide, only 10% of state legislators were women. By 2022, that percentage rose to 31.1%.

That number isn't at 50.8%, which is the percentage of females in Michigan overall. Nevada is the only state that's there (58.7%). Michigan's 31% is 12th in the country, according to CAWP.

AG Seeks Special Prosecutor For Election Probe; DePerno Says Allegations 'Total Garbage'

Republican Attorney General candidate Matthew DePerno said Monday morning that allegations he is involved in a conspiracy to hack into and manipulate voting machines "are total garbage."

DePerno's comments came in an interview with Michigan's Big Show's Michael Patrick Shiels after Attorney General Dana Nessel's office filed a petition seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to consider potential charges against nine individuals – including DePerno and state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), who wore a QAnon pin to a rally at the Michigan Capitol, as well as Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf and "Kraken" lawsuit attorney Stefanie Lambert Juntilla.

"Ninety percent of the facts that she lays out, that she calls facts, in her petition are either false or I have no knowledge of what she's talking about," DePerno said on the radio show.

DePerno did not respond to MIRS' request to share what details in the 10% are accurate.

Tyson Shepard, DePerno's campaign manager, said in a statement that Nessel has a "history of targeting and persecuting her political enemies" and that she's "desperate to win this election at all costs and is now targeting DePerno, her political opponent."

The petition submitted to the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council also names as targets of the investigation: Ann Howard; Cyber Ninjas CEO Douglas Logan; Ben Cotton, founder of the digital forensics company CyFIR; analyst Jeff Lenberg; and expert James Penrose. It alleges the unauthorized access occurred between March 11, 2021 and late June 2021.

Logan, Cotton and Penrose were named expert witnesses in DePerno's Antrim County lawsuit alleging fraud in the 2020 election. CyFIR and Logan were also among those Arizona Senate Republicans named to audit ballots cast in Maricopa County after previous counts found no irregularities.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asked the AG and Michigan State Police in February to investigate reports her office received of an "unnamed third party" who was allowed to access vote tabulator components and technology in Roscommon County.

DePerno announced his candidacy in July 2021 and he won the GOP's endorsement convention in April.

However, it is little surprise that DePerno is a target of the investigation considering a Senate Oversight Committee report on alleged election fraud mentioned DePerno and the Antrim County lawsuit he filed alleging fraud. 

Also at that time, Rendon said she had evidence of fraud, pointing to a "forensic audit" of voting machines conducted by Lenberg – an analyst DePerno used in his Antrim lawsuit.

The AG's petition, signed by Criminal Trials and Appeals Division Chief Danielle Hagaman-Clark, claims the investigation shows "that DePerno was one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy" and that he, Rendon and Juntilla "orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to voting tabulators" in multiple jurisdictions following the 2020 presidential election.

Juntilla is one of the attorneys a federal judge sanctioned for bringing a frivolous lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results. 

Five tabulators – described as having red tape in a "distinctive manner" covering an identification number – were taken to hotels and/or Airbnbs in Oakland County, where four others "broke into the tabulators and performed 'tests' on the equipment," according to the petition.

"I have nothing to do with any hotel rooms or any Airbnbs," DePerno said during the Michigan Big Show interview.

However, the petition notes: "It was determined during the investigation that DePerno was present at a hotel room during such 'testing.'"

A Dominion voting machine with red tape is depicted in a 2021 video posted to DePerno's law firm website. In the video, the narrator says DePerno's legal team expert, identified in the video as Lenberg, has "voting machine and tabulating software," which he runs through a mock election using seven ballots in an effort to show the machine is inaccurate.

The petition says Howard "coordinated printing of fake ballots" to run through the tabulators and that Leaf asked Irving Township Clerk Sharon Olson to "cooperate with investigators regarding an election fraud investigation." 

Olson then "turned over her tabulator to a third party," the petition notes.

The petition notes that Nessel is ready for an outside attorney to consider possible criminal charges now because DePerno is the presumptive Republican nominee for AG – resulting in a conflict of interest.

In a separate letter to Benson, dated Friday and signed by Chief Deputy Attorney General Christina Grossi, the AG's office recommends that the SOS provide additional education to all clerks outlining their legal obligation to safeguard election equipment.

In Michigan, it is a five-year felony for a person to obtain undue possession of a voting machine used in an election and it is a five-year felony to conspire with another to commit an offense prohibited by law, Grossi's letter reads.

In a statement, Benson said there "must be consequences for those who broke the law to undermine our elections in order to advance their own political agenda."

Nessel also referred potential violations of the legal field's rules of professional conduct to the Attorney Grievance Commission.

Enbridge Asks MPSC To Reconsider Its Request For More Info

Enbridge filed a motion Thursday for a rehearing in the case before the Michigan Public Service Commission that was ordered to have more evidence presented.

The Canadian-based energy company is requesting briefs to be filed on the additional evidence requested by MPSC on the safety studies for a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac that would house Line 5.

“We look forward to submitting the additional information requested by the Commission.  We have made every effort, in close coordination with the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, to design the tunnel as safely as possible,” said Enbridge spokesperson Ryan Duffy.

MPSC has stated the reopened order for more evidence was not the final say in the matter and that the commission would not have an effect on the permitting processes of the tunnel. 

Duffy said filing the petition would allow them to speed up the process and let the commission make the best possible decision.