Economy
2:31 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

U of M economist projects moderate, sustained economic growth for Michigan

Over the next two years, the state of Michigan should recover about 40 percent of jobs lost during a nearly decade-long recession, says one University of Michigan economics professor.

George Fulton, director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics, told a group of state officials that Michigan is expected to enter its fourth year of a moderate but sustained economic recovery.

Speaking at the state’s biannual revenue-estimating conference Friday, Fulton said Michigan still has progress to make.

More from Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press:

The good news is that Michigan has improved its competitive position relative to other states, the auto sector has been strong, housing is recovering, and the highest wage sectors have shown the strongest growth in Michigan, Fulton said.

The bad news is the recovery has not been nearly as strong as those in the past. Job growth remains sluggish, and the retail and government sectors are among those struggling, he said.

Fulton projected total job growth of 27,200 jobs this year, down from 75,300 jobs in 2011 and 48,500 jobs in 2012. He projects 58,900 net new jobs in 2014 and 66,400 in 2015. Private sector job growth is slightly higher over that time and net jobs reflect declines in government jobs, he said.

State Budget Director John Nixon said, however tenuous, a slow, steady recovery is welcome news. 

“And we’re pleased to see the economy improving,” he said.

Nixon said that also means more revenue, so the state should not be forced to make cuts to schools or other critical services this year.

Revenue estimates from the state Treasury Department along with those from the House and Senate fiscal agency will be used to finalize the state’s budget for 2014.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom