economy

Economy
5:05 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Michigan creates EB-5 program to attract job-creating immigrants

Detroit's first Latina council member, Raquel-Castaneda-Lopez, speaks at a press event earlier this year announcing Michigan’s intention to establish an “EB-5 regional center.”
Credit screen shot from LiveStream

It's called the EB-5 program. It's based on the employment-based 5th preference visa program, which allows foreign investors and their families to get their green cards – get permanent residency – by investing in an enterprise that creates at least 10 direct or indirect jobs in Michigan.

Private companies have been using the EB-5 program to bring immigrants into the country, but Michigan has become only the second state – after Vermont – to create a state EB-5 program. It will be staffed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Scott Woosley is the MSHDA Executive Director.

*Listen to the full show above.

Economy
1:18 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

Teen Summer job picture improving

The outlook is better for Michigan teenagers looking for Summer jobs.

But not that much better.

State officials are predicting 242,000 teens will look for summer jobs in Michigan. Most will be successful. But still about 26% are expected to end their Summer vacation without picking up a paycheck.

Jeff Aula is an economic analyst with the state of Michigan. He says it’s important for teen job seekers not to get discouraged.

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Culture
2:13 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Here are 100 reasons why people stay in Michigan

Photos by Margie Thomas-Boyd, Rob Rosario, Sara Cardinal.
collage by Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Last Friday, we asked people to share a photo that represents why they stay in Michigan.

So far, people have shared thousands of photos and tweets using the hashtag #whyIstay.

Public radio stations all over the country are asking their communities the same question. Here's a collection showing all the responses.

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Stateside
9:43 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

U of M's Ross School of Business holding "Positive Business Conference" this week

UM's Ross School of Business.
Credit UM

Words of encouragement, like “think positive,” can be flung around with little thought when we face challenging situations.

It's something we hear so often that it's easy to tune out.

But there is real power in those words: The power to make our workplaces better and more effective.

This week, The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is holding its first-ever Ross Positive Business Conference.

Chris White leads the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today.

*Listen to our interview with above.

Culture
2:53 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

37% of you would rather live somewhere else than Michigan

The darker the green, the more likely the state has residents who want to move elsewhere.
Gallup

I mean, it's not like we're living in Hawaii, after all.

Michigan is "above the national average" for the number of people who say they'd rather live somewhere else, according to the Gallup poll.

Here was the question they put to the 600 people they reached by phone in Michigan:

"Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"

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Stateside
4:36 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Michigan's new crowdfunding for equity law will help start-up businesses

Sandra Cochrane.
Credit Twitter

There's no arguing the fact that startups are a key to a thriving economy. Between 1980 to 2005, for example, nearly all net job creation in the U.S. came from companies less than five years old.

But what does that start-up need before it gets up and running, creating jobs, selling products, paying taxes? It needs capital. And getting that initial dose of money can be a tough challenge for a small business.

That's why there's growing excitement over Michigan's new crowdfunding law. It's called the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption – "MILE."

Let's find out what this new law means for Michigan start-ups and for your opportunities to invest in small businesses.

Sandra Cochrane is a consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Economy
1:19 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Governors form Great Lakes investment partnership

Eight Great Lakes governors and the premiers of Ontario and Québec launched a new initiative with the Paulson Institute today. The Paulson Institute is headed up by former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson.
Credit Fortune Live Media / Flickr

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – An organization representing the eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes region is teaming with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an effort to attract foreign manufacturing investment.

The Council of Great Lakes Governors announced the initiative Friday during a meeting in Chicago.

Paulson says many emerging economies such as China's are beginning to seek direct investment opportunities. The Great Lakes governors say they'll step up efforts to steer those investments into the U.S. manufacturing heartland.

The governors' council and the Paulson Institute are planning a "competitiveness forum" this summer in Detroit, led by Paulson and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. The partnership also will develop strategies for matching investors with opportunities, and for linking the region's research and development to foreign markets.

Stateside
3:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

How thrifting became a $13 billion industry

Turns out "popping some tags" can boost the economy.
A screenshot of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" YouTube

An interview with Brenda Parker and Chantal McDaniel.

Do you shop resale? Do you have a favorite thrift shop?

The business of selling second-hand goods has become a $13 billion industry in this country annually.

It's grown about 7% over each of the past two years.

Now you'll find resale, thrift and consignment shops in most Michigan cities and towns.

What's behind the growth? And what does this "resale" economy offer us?

We're joined by Brenda Parker. She is a professor of Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She recently coauthored a piece on the restructuring of retail economies in this era of e-commerce.

And we welcome Chantal McDaniel. She is based in Grand Rapids, and she writes a thrift fashion blog called "Thrift Trick: Miles of Fashion on a Shoestring."

Listen to the full interview above.

Made in Michigan
8:45 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Carhartt got its start in Michigan, and stayed in Michigan

Carhartt was made in Michigan.
Credit Carhartt / Facebook

Carhartt got its start in southern Michigan when the company's founder, Hamilton Carhartt, set out to make the best pair of overalls he could for railroad workers.

The company is still family owned and remains in Michigan.

We spoke with the company's current CEO, Mark Valade. He's Hamilton Carhartt's great-grandson.

Listen to our interview with him above.

Politics & Government
2:35 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

President Obama stops at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor

President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014.
Pete Souza White House

President Obama was in Ann Arbor today to give a speech on raising the federal minimum wage. Prior to the speech, Mr. Obama stopped at Zingerman's Delicatessen and ordered a Reuben sandwich. 

From the White House pool report:

POTUS and motorcade stopped at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor just before 1:30 p.m. With his suit coat off and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters by his side, the president ordered a Reuben sandwich.

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Economy
2:58 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

The average Michigan family needs $52,330 a year to 'make ends meet'

The MLPP's estimate of monthly expenses.
MLPP

That's for a two-parent family with two kids and where the two parents are working.

Peter Ruark and Cameron Merrill compiled the numbers for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Their report states that "making ends meet" means just covering the bare necessities.

If you and your partner have two kids, and you make $52,330 a year, the authors say you have just enough to cover your expenses for things like housing, food, healthcare, clothing, child care, transportation, and taxes.

It's equal to each person making $12.85 an hour at a full-time job. 

That's just one living situation the MLPP report looks at. It also breaks down the amount you would need to earn each year to "make ends meet" if you were:

  • single - $21,570
  • a single parent with two kids - $44,164
  • a two-parent family with two kids and you are both working - $52,330
  • a two-parent family with two kids and only one parent is working - $26,720

(They assume child care is not needed in a two-parent family with only one person working.) 

They also broke down the difference in need based on where you live in Michigan. Scroll over the interactive map below to see their wage estimates for each county.

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Economy
10:57 am
Tue February 25, 2014

In Detroit, coworking spaces aim to bring startups together

Want to rent a desk in Detroit? Coworking spaces are sprouting up around the city.
Peter Martorano Flickr

Life for a startup company is tough.

But life for a startup in Detroit may be getting a little easier.

Coworking spaces are sprouting up around the city. They've become increasingly popular across the country in the wake of the recession, according to this video from office furniture company Turnstone: 

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Stateside
4:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

How successful was the War on Poverty?

Poverty has doubled in Livingston County over the last five years
SamPac creative commons

It has now been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty.

There is a popular perception that President Johnson's War on Poverty failed. Critics point to the official poverty rate and say it has scarcely budged from 1964 to 2014, despite the $15 trillion spent in those 50 years.

But a University of Michigan economist is challenging that view. She is co-author of a new paper that analyzes spending during the Johnson Administration, and she believes it is wrong to call the War on Poverty a failure.

Martha Bailey joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:29 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Looking at the long range economic outlook for Michigan

Kettering University junior Steve Needham at the Innovation Center.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Today we looked at the long-range forecast for Michigan as a whole and what it will take in terms of policy decisions and education to keep Michigan from having a future as dark and dismal as a Dickens novel.

Two writers who've explored these questions for Bridge Magazine joined us today: Ron French and Nancy Derringer.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Opinion
10:41 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Why Michigan's Democratic leaders aren't happy with a minimum-wage ballot campaign

Jack Lessenberry

There’s a new group called the Economic Justice Coalition which is seriously considering trying to get a proposal on the ballot to raise the minimum wage in Michigan.

You might think that would make Democrats happy. Their gubernatorial candidate, Mark Schauer, came out in favor of a minimum wage hike two months ago.

But Democratic leaders aren’t thrilled with a ballot campaign, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute. Now, it’s not that they don’t want a higher minimum wage.Virtually all of them do. Schauer said if elected, he would try to raise Michigan’s from the present $7.40 an hour to $9.25 an hour over three years.

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Economy
4:28 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Congressional Democrats urge renewed unemployment benefits

Bytemarks flickr

More than 1.6 million Americans have lost their unemployment insurance since the end of 2013.

Congress allowed federal legislation designed to give job seekers unemployment benefits to expire on Dec. 28.

Congressional Democrats have called on Republicans to support legislation that would revive unemployment benefits.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, who authored legislation to extend unemployment benefits, said partisan gridlock could cause the number of people without unemployment benefits to double by the end of the year.

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Stateside
5:05 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

The economic impact of Michigan's music scene

Hitsville, U.S.A.
user dig downtown detroit Flickr

From Motown to Madonna, techno to gospel, jazz and blues, from Eminem to Kid Rock to Aretha, and much more, the Detroit area has been, and continues to be, a music powerhouse.

In fact, at least 38 Grammy Award winners and nominees from the past five years have a Detroit connection.

A recent study from the Anderson Economic Group takes a deep dive into the business of the Detroit-area music scene.

Alex Rosaen, the principal author of the study for the Anderson Economic Group, joined us today.

Economy
5:55 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

2014 holds economic promise, caution, for Michigan

Furniture maker
Dan Bobkoff Changing Gears

Michigan's primary industry, the auto industry, had a boom year in 2013.  That rapid growth is expected to slow in 2014, according to Robert Dye, an economist with Comerica Bank.

So, there may not be as many auto jobs created.

But, Dye notes that West Michigan's furniture industry could experience a boom.

"As we generate more jobs nationwide, companies will start reinvesting back into their office space," says Dye.  "And so I do expect improving conditions for furniture manufacturers in Michigan."

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Stateside
4:05 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

How will Michigan's housing market fare in 2014?

Will it be a buyers or sellers year for Michigan's housing market?
Katy Batdorff

One of the common traditions as we end one year and begin another is taking stock — reviewing where we've been and figuring out where we want to go in the New Year.

A good place to focus that review would be finances, and the prospects for the housing market.

A consumer credit forecast was released today that can give us a look into where Michigan’s market may be headed in 2014.

Listen to the full interview above.

11:50 am
Thu December 12, 2013

We Found This 20-Year-Old T-Shirt In Kenya. The Internet Found The Original Owner

Lead in text: 
Planet Money published a story about used clothing trends. One T-shirt found in Kenya was originally made for a Michigan bat mitzvah in 1993.
We recently published a story about how used clothes that get donated in the U.S. often wind up for sale in markets in Africa. As part of the story, we published some photos of used T-shirts we found in a couple of markets in Kenya.

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