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Data Michigan CUs create jobs support biz
LANSING, Mich. (9/6/12)--Michigan credit unions have seen some of the largest increases in hiring and business lending in recent years while continuing to serve an increasing membership and contribute to the state's economic turnaround, according to second quarter data released by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) & Affiliates says NCUA's data show that full-time employment at the state's credit unions increased 1.2% for second quarter--the best quarterly increase in four years. During the past year, full-time employment at credit unions rose 3.3%, compared with 2.1% nationally. Full-time employment at Michigan credit unions has increased for five consecutive quarters, said the league.

"Michigan credit unions are not only proud to provide outstanding services and products that help people and businesses save more and own their money. We're also proud that we can help put people back to work in good jobs and be part of the solution to today's economic issues," said David Adams, MCUL  CEO. "Michigan's economy is slowly coming back in several sectors, and we're pleased that our credit unions also put out the 'now hiring' sign. When people have jobs, they spend locally and that benefits our entire community."

Nearly one-third of Michigan credit unions added new full-time employees in the past year. For example, hiring at Clinton Township-based Michigan Schools & Government CU (MSGCU) rose 29%, and the number of year-to-date hires is double the pace of 2011, said MCUL.

"With more than 8,000 applicants vying for open positions at our credit union this year, the response to our job postings is quite frankly overwhelming," said MSGCU CEO Peter Gates. "Our credit union plays a central role in our community and that means doing everything we can to support the families and businesses we serve, including hiring locally and creating jobs."

The hiring trend is in part the result of growing membership. Michigan credit unions added 12,000 new members during second quarter and more than 74,000 members in the past 12 months.  More than 4.5 million Michigan residents--half the state's population--are credit union members.

Credit unions also supply much-needed capital to small businesses. The number of Michigan credit unions offering business loans is up 6.8% in second quarter, with nine new credit unions now offering these loans.  Today, 46% of Michigan credit unions offer business loans, compared with 27% nationally.  Member business loans (MBL) increased 4.2%, compared with 1.7% nationally, during the quarter. During the past 12 months, MBLs rose 13.6%, compared with 8.2% nationally.

The league noted that an arbitrary cap on credit union MBLs "threatens to limit the critical access to capital that will help the economy recover and grow."  The Credit Union National Association, the leagues, and credit unions have said that raising the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets (from the current 12.25%) would stimulate the economy by injecting $13 billion in new small business loans and helping create 140,000 new jobs the first year, without costing taxpayers a dime.

Meanwhile, Michigan credit unions continue to find ways to support small businesses. Last month, after nearly a year of advocacy efforts by the league on behalf of Michigan's credit unions, the Michigan Commissioner of Financial and Insurance Regulation singed an order authorizing credit union service organizations to provide small business equity investments to Michigan credit unions and their members.

"This unprecedented opportunity for credit unions has tremendous potential and is further evidence of our commitment to supporting  small businesses and contributing to the economic turnaround," Adams said.


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