economy

Economy
12:31 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Washtenaw County on the edge of an economic rebound

University of Michigan Economists, George Fulton
http://rsqe.econ.lsa.umich.edu

Today, the annual Washtenaw County Outlook event will bring  economists, businesses, and government officials together to address the current and future economic prospects for the county.

Lizzy Alfs of AnnArbor.com reports many were surprised to hear an economic forecast that Washtenaw County is expected to increase its job growth.

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Auto
4:59 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Stateside: What lies ahead for auto companies?

The Renaissance Center is home to GM one of the worl's largets auto manufactures
Carlos Lowry Flickr

The clouds have been lifting for  U.S. car makers.

With car sales and America's economy picking up, there are some who are looking further down the road.

They have been wondering  if deeper, bigger challenges lie ahead for the companies who put the world on wheels.

One of those wondering is automotive writer Micki Maynard. She recently published a couple of pieces in Forbes Magazine exploring what she calls "The Secret Fear of the World's Biggest Auto Companies".

Micki Maynard spoke with us to explain exactly what is the "Secret Fear" of the World's Biggest Auto Companies.

To hear the full story click the audio link above.

Politics & Government
1:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Economists predict growth in 7-county region in Michigan

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - University of Michigan economists are predicting job growth for the region including Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Shiawassee counties.

George Fulton and Don Grimes of the Ann Arbor school's Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy said the areas will gain more than 76,000 jobs this year through 2015. They issued the annual forecast Thursday for the Economic Growth Alliance, a partnership that includes the counties.

They say the region will add 17,600 jobs this year, 27,200 jobs in 2014 and 31,600 jobs in 2015. That comes after a gain of nearly 75,000 jobs over the past three years.

Fulton and Grimes say that the job growth will be accompanied by slowly declining unemployment and relatively tame inflation.

Politics & Culture
5:13 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, February 20th, 2013.

Today on Stateside, Michiganders, you have spoken.

A new report is out today about how you think we can move the economy forward.

We'll find out more on today's show, and we'll speak to a former University President who says universities themselves might be contributing to some of the economic crunch they're facing.

But in the first part of our show, we turn to the question of just how much support the state of Michigan should give to the film industry and filmmakers.

Governor Snyder's recent budget proposal contained $25 million in tax credits for film makers. That's a 50 percent cut from the present  film credit cap of $50 million, and some lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a fellow Republican, say that is one bad plan that he says will drive the film industry out of Michigan.

Economy
4:41 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Stateside: What do Michigan residents think should happen to restore the economy

John Austin, Director of the Michigan Economic Center and also the President of the Michigan State Board of Education
Um-Smart.org

There is certainly no shortage of reporting, discussion and conversation about what should happen to breath new life into Michigan's economy.

Most of this conversation seems to revolve around the thought of legislatures, policy makers, and Governor Snyder.

But what do Michiganders think should happen to help restore the economy and what do you want to see as a Michigan citizen?

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Business
3:01 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

New export finance center opens in Detroit

Export-Import Bank of the United States

Earlier this week, Gov. Rick Snyder, Senator Debbie Stabenow and nearly 100 small business owners were in Detroit for the opening of a new regional office for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The new office is expected to help Michigan businesses export products overseas by providing access to various types of insurance, loans, and financial resources.

According to their website, the agency has helped generate $456 billion in export revenue since its creation by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934.

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Economy
3:30 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

West Michigan economy forecasted to grow in 2013, but at a little slower pace

GVSU's Paul Isley at the 2013 West Michigan Economic Forecast Friday morning.
Elizabeth Lienau Grand Valley State University

Economists predict the economy in West Michigan will grow at a slow but steady pace this year.

“I mean we’re really looking at another year that feels like last year which isn’t so bad,” Paul Isley, chair of Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business, said.

“We're growing here in West Michigan. We have a potential that by the end of this year at least some areas of West Michigan will finally be above, employment wise, where we were in 2000, which will be really a hallmark,” Isley said.

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Economy
10:29 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Takeover bid rejected by Detroit-based Compuware

Compuware's world headquarters in downtown Detroit.
user DeeMusil Wikimedia Commons

Coming off two good earnings reports, the Compuware Company announced today it rejected a takeover bid by a hedge fund company.

More from JC Rendl of the Detroit Free Press

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Politics & Government
4:32 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Flint contemplates its future, through planning

Mayor Dayne Walling
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The City of Flint is hosting a public forum this evening to discuss its plan for the future.

"This is a chance for a lot of the political leaders and some community people to lay out the process and to get additional information from the audience," said Michael Kelly of the Flint Area Public Affairs Forum. He says the forum will allow city leaders to talk  about assets and challenges that face the city.

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Newsmaker Interviews
5:15 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Green confidence at the North American International Auto Show

2014 Cadillac ELR, "Cadillac's luxurious take on the Chevy Volt," says Bernard Swiecki with the Center for Automotive Research.
Cars.com

Listen to the full interview with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White and Bernard Swiecki of CAR.

With the Detroit International Auto Show only just beginning, GM and Chrysler are already receiving good news.

This year's North American Car of the Year award went to the Cadillac ATS, while Truck of the Year was awarded to the Dodge Ram 1500.

According to Bernard Swiecki with the Center for Automotive Research, these awards are more significant in their effects on confidence, rather than their impact on sales.

"Interestingly, both of these vehicles are built in Michigan, so there's a very real local connection there as well. This is kind of an endorsement that both of these critical vehicles were done right by the engineering teams. "

Swiecki mentions that confidence is shown not only in the vehicles, but in the atmosphere of this year's Detroit Auto Show, and is a clear departure from the austerity of the post-bailout shows of the past.

"In the 2009 and 2010 shows, there was almost an atmosphere of allaying the fears that 'We're not going to be here next year', and that's really not the case anymore, and it hasn't been for the last two or three years. Now it's more about a confident approach, showing future products with every certainty that 1) the companies are viable and 2) the products themselves are world-class," he said.

These American vehicles are world-class, and green, according to Swiecki, who claims that green-technology continues to be a pronounced trend in new American vehicles, such as Cadillac's luxurious take on the Chevy Volt. Green technology is even moving across vehicle platforms this year to trucks with Ford's Atlas Pickup concept, which will eventually become the next generation Ford F-150.

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Economy
3:59 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Stateside: Concerned residents and their neighborhood improvements

Grandmont Rosedale residents help maintain their community.
http://www.grandmontrosedale.com/business.html

Cyndy spoke with Heidi Alcock and Tom Goddeeris about neighborhood improvement and community engagement in Detroit.

Detroit's revitalization is a recurring topic on Stateside.

The city's vacant buildings are an interactive lesson in real estate and community maintenance.

Today, Stateside focused on neighborhood improvement and community engagement.

Heidi Alcock of the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign and Tom Goddeeris of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation shared their revitalization goals.

Alcock started the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign to reduce the amount of abandoned buildings in Detroit- improving both property value and morale.

“One vacant property can be very dangerous on an otherwise stable block,” said Alcock.

“Beginning with the mortgage foreclosure crisis we’ve seen vacancy rate go from about 2% in 2000 to 11% in 2010. Probably the biggest impact it’s had on our community is that it has driven values down,” said Goddeeris.

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Economy
10:39 am
Mon December 17, 2012

When cities are strapped, police cuts follow

In some places around Michigan, State Police try to fill the void, but their ranks are shrinking too.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

The impact of economic problems are often likened to waves. And the waves of Michigan's economic crisis are still rolling up onto the shores in cities around the state.

The Detroit News looked at the numbers of police cuts and how communities react to these cuts.

The data from the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards show that since 2003, the state has lost more than 2,000 police positions in total.

Communities react to the cuts by completely disbanding their departments, as Pontiac did, or by trying to raise more revenue.

But as the events in the struggling city of Benton Harbor show, residents are not always willing to tax themselves more to keep their police departments intact.

From the Detroit News:

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Politics & Government
7:26 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Police prepare for large protests today in Lansing

david_shane flickr

Dozens of State Police have gathered in a hallway in the Capitol’s lower level, cordoned off by blue curtains. This is their base of operations in the building this week as hundreds – maybe thousands - of protesters are expected to fill the upper levels.

In one closet, police have stashed helmets and other riot gear.

Capitol Facilities Director Steve Benkovsky hopes the demonstrations will stay peaceful.

"Everybody has a right to come in here and voice their opinion. And we'll deal with it the best we can and let them voice their opinion," said Benkovsky.

State and local police plan to close a number of streets around the state Capitol.

They will also limit the number of people allowed in the building.

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Opinion
3:04 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Right-to-work in Michigan: Is there a middle ground?

Rick Pluta/MPRN

One thing I know about politically polarizing issues: arguing for middle-of-the-road positions alienates a lot of folks.

But here goes anyway.

I don’t love unions.

And I feel I can say that with some authority, given that as an employee of several media companies, I’ve been a member of three of them.

In every case, I felt unions were so concerned about protecting territory, that they were, at times, anti-progressive, and too often in the business of preserving their power.

I couldn’t touch equipment.

I was prevented from developing technical skills I would have been wise to learn.

Later in my career, when I worked at non-union shops, I was glad that, if I wanted to try something new, I could.

Now, that may seem like a funny way for me to argue that right-to-work laws are a bad idea, but that’s where I’m going with this.

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Politics & Government
7:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Michigan likely to go "right-to-work;" protestors hit Capitol (PHOTOS, AUDIO, VIDEO)

Michigan Gov. Snyder (center) flanked by supporters of right-to-work legislation in Michigan.
screenshot LiveStream

We're updating this post on the legislature's effort to pass a 'right-to-work' law in Michigan.

A right-to-work law would outlaw requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Unions say these laws weaken their ability to bargain collectively with employers. Supporters of the law say it gives workers a choice.

Update 7:50 p.m.

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Politics & Government
10:57 am
Thu December 6, 2012

LIVE: 'Right-to-work' legislation unveiled

The news conference has ended.

Here's the news conference with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders. They're unveiling their plans for 'right-to-work' legislation:

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Politics & Government
12:37 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

President Obama coming to Detroit on Monday

Obama in Ann Arbor last January.
YouTube

President Obama will be making his first trip to Michigan in nearly eight months.

The last time he was in Michigan, Mr. Obama stopped at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn for a campaign event.

This time around he's expected to deliver a major speech on the economy and middle class families in Detroit, according to David Shepardson of the Detroit News.

The address will come just three weeks before tax cuts are set to expire on nearly all Americans and $1.2 trillion in mandatory domestic and defense spending cuts over 10 years are to take effect — unless Congress acts.

"I believe America only thrives when we have a strong and growing middle class. And I believe we're at our best when everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead. That's what I believe," Obama said. "I believe both parties can — and will — work together in the coming weeks to get that done. We know how that gets done. We're going to have to raise a little more revenue. We've got to cut out spending we don't need."

Shepardson points out that without a tax deal, taxes will increase for a majority of Americans, and unemployment benefits will expire. 

About 93,000 people in Michigan will lose unemployment benefits by the end of this month unless Congress acts.

No details of the visit have been publicly announced yet. Those details are expected in the coming days from the White House.

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Economy
4:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

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

Though far from fully repaired, Michigan's economy is improving
sushina flickr

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.

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Economy
11:29 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Enough consumerism, calls for 'Giving Tuesday'

Greengobbler Morguefile

Philanthropic organizations want to capitalize on the spending campaigns of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"  - and also flip the idea of consumerism on its head.

The idea behind "Giving Tuesday" is to take time to donate to charity, after two of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Eileen Heisman is the CEO of National Philanthropic Trust - one of the groups promoting the campaign.

"This is the first year, but I think it's going to continue," said Heisman. "I'm almost positive it is, and so I think in the following years we'll see a much bigger push and more visibility for people taking this time of year to give back in a more formal way on this day."

Charities report nearly a quarter of their annual donations come between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Offbeat
2:39 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Mad grab for Ding Dongs, Twinkies, and Zingers

Get them while you can... but somebody else will probably make them.
Larry D. Moore Wikimedia Commons

And I forgot to mention Devil Dogs, Donettes, and Sno Balls.

Hostess Brands announced this morning that they're going out of business and laying off around 18,500 employees.

Hostess higher-ups said a strike by bakery workers was a big part of the decision for the shutdown, and that they don’t have the “financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike.”

Union leaders called the announced shutdown a Bain-style decision – “a microcosm of what’s wrong with America.”

In the meantime, Ho-Ho production is winding down. From the NYTimes:

The last batches rolled off Hostess production lines early Friday morning, according to Tom Becker, a company spokesman, and no new products will be made for the time being.

The Times points out that Twinkies might not be a thing of the past, as Hostess Brands will likely be auctioned off to others.

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