Report: Michigan’ Economic Benchmarks Indicate Mixed Results for State’s Progress


A report conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan on Friday, Dec.16 issued the state’s economic benchmarking data, which indicates that Michigan isn’t progressing quickly enough in key measures such as employment, personal income, and productivity to become a Top Ten state if current trends continue.

The report, issued annually since 2010, shows Michigan making significant progress in increasing employment and improving several measures of cost competitiveness over the past five years. By metrics indicate progress raising income levels and GDP has been slower and the value of locating in Michigan has remained relatively the same in the same timeframe. The net result is that Michigan’s growth as a state has begun to slow relative to other states, and some key aspects of talent supply, infrastructure, and economic development are declining.

“BLM’s data shows Michigan has succeeded in growing jobs and becoming more cost competitive since 2009,” says Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of BLM. “Things are generally getting better, but not fast enough to become a Top Ten state at the rate we are progressing.”

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Highlights from the report include Michigan rising from 48th to 31st in employment since 2009, and making its biggest gains in improving the corporate tax and overall business tax climate. Michigan also ranks highly on innovation factors, including 10th nationwide in patents, 5th in university research and development, and 6th in exports. However, research also indicates the state is ranked 33rd nationwide for personal incomes and 35th per capita GDP, and has regressed on several key metrics for talent readiness, infrastructure, and economic development including low education attainment (29th), career and college readiness (36th), urban road conditions (40th) and economic development expenditures (30th).

Business Leaders for Michigan is the state’s business roundtable and is dedicated to helping Michigan achieve a “Top 10” state ranking for jobs, personal income, and a healthy economy. The organization leverages the chairpersons and senior executives of Michigan’s largest companies to help drive the state’s economy, help create direct jobs, and encourage economic development in the state. 

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