Stateside: Per capita income increases in Michigan, still below national average

Nov 27, 2012

A new report from the United States Commerce Department found that economic recovery is occurring in Michigan. According to the survey, per capita personal income rose in nearly every Michigan county last year.

Charley Ballard, Michigan State University Professor of Economics explained that although improving, Michigan’s economy still has further to go.  

Ballard began by defining the factors of per capita income.

“It’s their wages and salaries. It also included dividends and social security. It doesn’t include Medicare. They add up all of the income of all the people in Michigan and then divide by the number of people,” said Ballard.

Though improved, Michigan is still well below the national average of per capita income.

"We're headed in the right direction," Charley Ballard.

“It’s a good news, bad news scenario. The good news is that for three years we have been making progress out of the deep hole of the first decade of the 21st century. But we still remain about 13% below the national average,” said Ballard.

According to Ballard, the numbers point to a mild recovery.

“It’s not a weak recovery. It feels to me like we’ve shifted from second gear to third gear. We’re headed in the right direction,” said Ballard.

Ballard was doubtful of another severe recession occurring in the near future.

“Last year, President Obama and the House Republicans passed this Budget Control Act that would take effect January 2013 with tax cuts. The idea was that this would be so bad that it would force Congress to act in a responsible way. If they don’t fix the tax increases and spending cuts, we could have a recession, but I really don’t think that will happen,” said Ballard.

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