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Michigan’s economy may cloud President Barack Obama’s spring commencement address at University of Michigan

T h e   s t a t e   o f   M I C H I G A N i n  t h e   U.  S.  A. — a disaster?

When President Barack Obama steps to the podium May 1 to deliver the spring commencement address at the University of Michigan, he’ll peer out over a crowd of 3,500 graduates.

Half of them will leave Michigan.

Michigan’s talent exodus and unemployment crisis paint an uncertain economic backdrop for Obama’s speech.

His address – the first appearance by a sitting U.S. president at U-M’s Ann Arbor campus since George H.W. Bush visited in 1991 – comes as even the most talented of graduates are struggling to find jobs.

U.S. President Barack Obama will                   
deliver the University of Michigan’s
commencement address on May 1.

Some 46 percent of Michigan’s top public university alumni leave the state within 8 months of graduating, according to a 2008 study by Ann Arbor-based nonpartisan think tank Michigan Future Inc.

“I don’t think he needs to hear this, but I think a lot us want to hear about jobs, and are we going to get them after we graduate?” said U-M graduate student Evangeline Harvey, who is graduating this spring with a master’s in education. “I have a feeling that that’s one of his reasons for doing this.”

The content and tone of Obama’s speech won’t be clear for months.

But business leaders, politicians and students in the Ann Arbor region said they hope the president discusses Michigan’s jobs crisis and how to help reconstruct the state’s economic infrastructure.

Obama will be greeted by a Michigan economy suffering from an unemployment crisis. Michigan’s unemployment rate in December was 14.6 percent, according to the state.


Who is concerned about finding employment in Michigan after graduation from universities?

What is the crisis in the state of Michigan, U.S.A.?

What was the unemployment rate in Michigan as reported recently?

Where is the University of Michigan located?

When do university alumni usually leave the state of Michigan after graduating from college?


Would you want to continue to live in the same state as your university if you could not find a job?

If, after graduation from college, you could not find a job in the college area, would you stay there or would you leave?

Should the state of Michigan impose a “stay and work in Michigan for 5 years” condition upon Michigan graduates?


talent exodus


Ann Arbor

economic backdrop

unemployment crisis


economic infrastructure

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