Michigan economy

1:52 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

U.S. commerce secretary praises Michigan during forum

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Credit 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.

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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.

5:33 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Is the glass half-empty or half-full for Michigan's business owners?

Off to work!
Credit 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.

3:34 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

It's a tough time to be a millionaire in Michigan

Buddy, can you spare a million?
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.

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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.

4:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

What business leaders have to say about Michigan's economy

Detroit skyline.
user: jodelli Flickr

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.

12:56 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Michigan retailers are not optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping season

(file photo)
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.

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Politics & Government
1:05 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Report: Michigan not hurting from government shutdown as much as other states

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.

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10:30 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Flint conference looking at ways to help Michigan's manufacturing industries

(file photo)
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.

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12:00 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Report shows increase in people earning poverty wages in Michigan

Fast food workers in Detroit strike for higher wages.
Credit 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.

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6:24 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Michigan's jobless rate ticks up

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.

Politics & Culture
5:56 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Stateside for Monday, June 24th, 2013

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.

12:51 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Report: Michigan declined the most nationwide on Human Development Index

Detroit topped the list of bottom-ranking metro areas.
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.

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5:05 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

New book tracks the Midwest economy from boom to bust

Author Edward McClelland

An interview with author Edward McClelland.

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.

2:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Michigan's jobless rate dips again, total workforce rises

Michigan’s unemployment rate declined by one tenth of one percentage point last month.

Michigan’s April unemployment rate was 8.4%, down seven tenths of a percentage point from April of 2012. The state’s jobless rate has been on the decline since last September.

The biggest gains last month were found in the leisure, manufacturing and health services industries, while professional and business services posted a big decline.

And the state’s latest labor numbers are not just about people with jobs.

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3:06 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Michigan teenagers may have a better chance of landing a summer job


Michigan labor officials say teenagers may have a better chance this year of landing a summer job.

In the summer of 2010, at the height of the recession, teen summer unemployment was pegged at 35 percent.

State economic analyst Bruce Weaver predicts this summer teen unemployment should be closer to 25 percent.

“The types of industries that tend to hire teens … which primarily fall in the service and retail sector … have added jobs in Michigan over the past several years,” says Weaver.  

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Politics & Government
10:30 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Sequestration spending cuts may put the brakes on some projects in Michigan

An artist's conception of the planned Silver Line bus rapid transit line in Grand Rapids

Local governments and businesses are waiting to see how they will be affected by automatic federal budget cuts that take effect today.   

In Grand Rapids, the city’s plans for a new rapid bus service may end up being delayed by the sequester cuts.

Peter Varga is the CEO of The Rapid.   He says 80 percent of the funding for the nearly $40 million project is slated to come from the federal government.

Varga says if the federal funding is held up, the project will be delayed beyond its 2014 completion date. He says a delay will add to the cost of the project.

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5:20 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Stateside: What does the 'sequester' really mean for Michigan?

What the sequester means for Michigan

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

The term "sequester" is being tossed around all over the news and in Washington D.C. this week, but what does that mean for Michigan?

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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

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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Politics & Government
9:36 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Sequestration could cost Michigan 23,000 to 25,000 jobs

Congress and the President appear to be at a standstill.
U.S. Congress congress.gov

Michigan stands to lose thousands of jobs if automatic federal budget cuts take effect at the end of the month.

The effects could ripple through the state’s economy.

Stephen Fuller, an economist at George Mason University, has broken down the effects of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that will go into effect if the so-called sequestration goes through next week.

He estimates Michigan will lose 23,000 to 25,000 jobs, mostly defense department related, but also about 10,000 non-governmental jobs.

That’s slightly lower than the more than 30,000 jobs lost he predicted last year, but he says the effect on Michigan’s economy will still be more than $2 billion.

Fuller says small businesses will feel the effect more than large businesses.

“They have a harder time adjusting…they don’t have stockholders or large deposits in the bank to live off of,” said Fuller.

Fuller says government workers will probably start to feel the budget cuts in April, but a Lansing area defense contractor has already announced layoffs tied to the looming sequestration.