Michigan economy

Michigan must divide in order to conquer

Mar 9, 2015
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The Next Idea

When people think of Michigan, a number of iconic images come to mind – a long assembly line, acres of cherry orchards, miles of gorgeous coastline. This wide variety of industry, agriculture and tourism contributes to the resilience of our $400 billion economy and is what makes Michigan special. But these industries and regions also have very different requirements to help them grow. The challenge lies in how to foster growth in each one without competing against each other so that some Michigan residents win only when others lose.

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Men are vanishing from the workplaces of America, and Michigan workplaces are a prime example.

The group of unemployed men between the ages of 25 and 54 has more than tripled nationwide since the 1960s. A recent piece in the New York Times explored the lives of these "prime-age" men who are vanishing from the workforce. 

Of those men, 16% are now unemployed. But in Michigan, that number is much higher.

Technology pushes companies to work for us

Feb 16, 2015

The Next Idea

The world is rapidly changing, in case you haven’t noticed.  How we fundamentally interact with businesses, with government, and with each other is moving in directions that we are only starting to comprehend.

The Next Idea

Venture capital flow into Michigan has been steadily increasing since 2008, but the state saw a remarkable uptick last year. According to a report released last month by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers, venture capital investment in Michigan nearly doubled, up from $111 million in 2013 to $219 million last year.  

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Is Michigan just too modest, too Midwestern in the way it treats its prominent entrepreneurs? Jeff DeGraff thinks the answer might be yes.

DeGraff is a clinical professor of management and organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and our partner for the Next Idea. Jeff DeGraff has two questions for listeners:

How would you identify the best and the brightest? And what kinds of help would you give them?

Auto sales grew in 2014
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When the economy in Michigan is hurting, you always hear politicians talking about diversifying the economy.

But when the auto industry is doing better and the economy in Michigan is riding along with it, that talk seems to disappear.

Well, not this time. Rick Haglund recently wrote about a report that indicates the auto industry might be hitting the brakes.

Haglund joined us today. He’s a freelance journalist and contributor to Bridge Magazine, MLive and others. Michigan Radio's auto reporter, Tracy Samilton, also joined us on the show.

U.S. Dept. of Commerce

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says Michigan is "on a roll."

Pritzker spoke Friday in Benton Harbor at the North American headquarters of Whirlpool. The forum attracted executives from Whirlpool, Dow Chemical, Stryker, Steelcase, Gentex and many other Michigan-based companies.

The Herald-Palladium reports that Pritzker said Michigan has great leaders in business, government and higher education.

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.
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.

Kenny Louie / Flickr

How are business owners in Michigan feeling?

It's an important question: Those business owners are doing the hiring – or not.

The 2014 Chase Business Leaders Outlook has just been released. It contains the views of some 3,500 leaders of small and mid-sized businesses.

Here to give us the views of these business leaders is Jim Glassman, senior economist with JPMorgan, Chase & Company.

Listen to the full interview above.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A report from the Phoenix Global Wealth Monitor says Michigan had fewer millionaires in 2013.

Michigan had around 170,000 households with more than a million dollars in investable assets. But that's 10,000 fewer than in 2012.   Michigan's top year was 2007, when it had more than 214,000 millionaires.

David Thompson is Managing Director of Global Wealth Monitor.  He says Michigan's wealth stability is more vulnerable than other states like New Jersey or Maryland with strong centers of wealth creation.

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.

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This week, the Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s most prominent business roundtable, met in Detroit.

The group offered an in-depth “report card” of how Michigan is recovering from the implosion suffered during the recession. They also outline what it’ll take to boost Michigan’s presence as a money-generating state.

We talked with Daniel Howes, a business columnist with the Detroit News, about Michigan's current business climate — and where things go from here.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan retailers are less optimistic about this year’s holiday shopping season.

A survey by the Michigan Retailers Association finds a little more than half of its members expect their sales will be better this year.

The Michigan Retailers Index predicts about a 1.3% increase this year, that’s well below the national forecast.

There’s a new report that may help explain why Michigan isn’t feeling as big an impact from the federal government shutdown as other states.

Michigan ranks 41st on a new survey of how the shutdown affects the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The survey is by WalletHub.com. John Kiernan is a senior analyst at WalletHub.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Federal, state and local government officials are meeting with Genesee County business leaders today to discuss ways to build up the county’s manufacturing industry.

After decades of decline, Genesee County’s manufacturing base has been growing since the recession.

Much of the growth has been tied to the auto industry.

Janice Karcher is with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. She says Flint-area manufacturers are about more than cars and trucks.

www.detroit15.org

The Michigan League for Public Policy released its Labor Day report today. The report shows Michigan  increased the number of workers earning a poverty wage.

Michigan’s monthly unemployment rate jumped slightly to 8.7%, as more people are competing for jobs.

There are actually about 9 thousand more people working in Michigan.  But there are also more people who told the government’s monthly employment survey that they are looking for work.

Michigan’s rate of unemployment and under-employment is 16.1%. That includes people who’ve stopped looking for work or part-timers who’d like to be full-time.

The state’s jobless rate from this point 12 months ago is down six-tenths of a percentage point.

We begin a week-long look at energy in Michigan. Today, we focused on solar energy and what it could mean for our state.

And, we turned to Lansing where some Democrats in the state House are introducing legislation to allow gay marriage in Michigan.

Also, we spoke with Charles Ballard and Rick Haglund about whether Michigan is going to make an economic comeback.

First on the show, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has issued its annual Kids Count report on the well-being of children across the nation. In Michigan, the outline is a mixed bag, but overall Michigan is last among Great Lakes states for child well-being.

There were improvements in how well kids are doing in school, some improvements in the area of the health of kids and the number who have health insurance, but in every category of economic well-being, children in Michigan are in worse shape.

Patrick McCarthy is the President and Chief Executive author of Kids Count, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Peter Martorano / Flickr

When it comes to measuring economies, gross domestic product has been the big player for the last century.

But a growing number of economists and political scientists argue that GDP is an incomplete assessment of development. The central complaint: GDP misses the human side of things.

So researchers at the Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn looked at the Human Development Index, a metric developed in the 1990s, and applied it to the U.S. Looking at the health, education, and earnings of people across the country, the researchers were able to get a better understanding of how Americans are doing.

 

The result? The country is making progress in some areas and falling behind in others. No surprise.

 

But across the board, Michigan’s not doing well.

edwardmcclelland.com

If you've grown up in Michigan---or elsewhere in the Midwest, you don't need us to tell you there's been an unbelievable shift in the lifestyle, the economy, the job expectations from, say, your parents' or grandparents' day to what we face in 2013.

Here in the Great Lakes, we've gone from the "Arsenal of Democracy" during World War II to the center of manufacturing, especially of automobiles, to present day, where many of those once-booming factories are empty and rotting away or falling to the wrecker's ball.

Writer Edward McClelland grew up in Lansing, where once upon a time a kid could go from a high school graduation ceremony right into a GM plant, make a great living thanks to contracts won by the UAW, and go right up to retirement. As we all know here in Michigan, those days are gone forever.

Edward McClelland's new book digs into what happened to the industrial midsection of America, including Michigan. It's called "Nothin' But Blue Skies: the Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes Of America's Industrial Heartland."

Edward McClelland joined us here in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

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