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Another barometer of west Michigan's economy

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WTVB) - Grand Valley State University economist and professor Dr. Brian Long’s monthly gauge of the economic indicators from local factory floors in West Michigan finds new orders and production both rose, but new employment sank 10%, partly because of uncertainties generated by Congress.  

All of those numbers add up to treading water according to Dr. Long and what’s confounding for employers is that there are jobs to be had, but not just anybody can have them and a lack of qualified candidates remains. Dr. Long adds that local implications of the Affordable Care Act are already surfacing, with smaller firms scared of Obamacare’s complexity and not hiring or expanding “as they should.”