Michigan economy

Economy
1:00 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The number of low-income working families continues to rise in Michigan

technico http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/801913

More families in Michigan are finding it hard to meet basic needs.

A report by the Working Poor Families Project says a family of four with a household income of about $45,600 is considered low-income. Michigan finds itself in the middle nationally, with the 26th highest number of low-income working families in the nation.

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Investigative
7:00 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Slowdown in Michigan disposable income growth in 2013 in part due to higher state tax burden

Michiganders' paychecks will be smaller than most.
Andy Nguyen Flickr

The State of the State speech outlines what the Governor sees as spending priorities for the state. But state taxes and spending are only part of the story.   Michigan Watch has learned recovering from the Great Recession will not go as well in Michigan as the rest of the nation this year.

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Economy
4:12 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Michigan's December jobless rate holds at 8.9 percent; annual numbers show improvement

Michigan's overall labor force charted with Michigan's unemployment rate from December 2002 to December 2012 (Source MI DMTB).
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Michigan’s unemployment rate held steady through the month of December at 8.9 percent, according to a report released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

The December rate marks a four-tenths of a percent decrease from last year, while the national jobless rate dropped by seven-tenths of a percent over the same period.

Total employment declined by 11,000 last month.

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Auto
1:12 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Japanese auto supplier set to invest $150 million in Michigan

DENSO International America flickr

Japanese auto supplier Denso has announced a four-year, $1 billion expansion in North America, including a $150 million investment in Michigan.

According to plans revealed at the North American International Auto Show on Tuesday, the auto supplier could hire a combined 400 new workers at its technical center in Southfield and manufacturing plant in Battle Creek.

Nathan Borney of the Detroit Free Press has more:

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Economy
2:31 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

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

University of Michigan economist George Fulton.
Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics

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.

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Politics & Government
5:07 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Stateside: Avoiding the fiscal cliff

Economics professor Charles Ballard
Michigan State University

Cyndy speaks with Michigan State University economics professor Charley Ballard about the fiscal cliff deal.

The short-term compromise that Congress passed last night may have averted the immediate impacts of the so-called "fiscal cliff,” but bigger battles lie ahead for Congress and the White House.

Michigan State University Economics professor Charley Ballard spoke with Cindy about the deal and what we can expect in the coming months.

Ballard said he was hoping for a grand bargain, a much more comprehensive effort to deal with the country’s fiscal problems, but that something is better than nothing.

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Economy
4:11 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Unemployment in Michigan declines for third consecutive month

Michigan's unemployment rate and labor force from Nov. 2002 to Nov. 2012. (Source Michigan DTMB).
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Michigan’s unemployment rate is down two-tenths of a percent to 8.9 percent over the course of November, according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

That's seven-tenths of a percent below last year's November rate.

The labor force declined by 24,000 over the course of the month.

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Politics & Government
3:04 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Governor signs phaseout on business and industrial equipment tax

A123 Systems Inc. Facebook

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a plan to phase out the state’s tax on business and industrial equipment.

Manufacturers, in particular, say the tax discourages investment in Michigan.

Charlie Pryde is a lobbyist for Ford.

“We believe the reform package the governor is signing today will make Michigan more competitive for manufacturing and Ford Motor Company more competitive in the intensely competitive automotive manufacturing marketplace,” Pryde said.

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Economy
5:41 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Stateside: Addressing Michigan's income disparity

Charley Ballard called for policy changes that allow for economic growth
Michigan State University

The gap between the Middle and Upper class in Michigan has widened.

Michigan State University’s Charley Ballard spoke with Cyndy about income disparity in both the state and country.

“There is a lot of emphasis about the level of income, but I am talking about the gap between those at the top, the middle and bottom in terms of how much their household income is. A big story is that the gap has widened. Michigan is typical in that the gap between the gap and top and the middle has gone way up, but the gap between the middle and the bottom has not,” said Ballard.

The disparities in income are largely a result of varying degrees of education among Michigan workers.

“Those at the top tend to be college-educated. Those at the bottom tend to not be,” said Ballard.

According to Ballard, Michigan’s statistics are average when compared nationally.

“In a lot of ways we’re a middle-of-the-pack state. If you take that ratio of the household income for the person at the 90th percentile, upper-middle class, and compare that with the household income with someone at the tenth percentile, that ratio increased by more than 20% in Michigan.”

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Politics & Government
5:27 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Snyder administration proposes industrial tax phaseout

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley want the Legislature to enact a major tax overhaul before its current session ends in two or three weeks.

It would phase out Michigan’s tax on business and industrial equipment.   

It is widely agreed the tax discourages investment and is a particularly large burden on manufacturers.

The phase-out would take 10 years, with smaller businesses benefiting first.

Lieutenant Governor Calley said Michigan’s economy is still rooted in manufacturing.

“Eliminating this disincentive to invest will help improve our climate for job growth. Our whole state will benefit,” said Calley.

The holdup has come from local governments and school districts, which rely on that revenue.

David Lossing is the mayor of the city of Linden, near Flint, and president of the Michigan Municipal League. Lossing said there are still too many questions about this plan, and it could force many communities to cut services.

“We want to make 21st Century communities. We want to make these places where people want to live, want to shop, want to open a business, and so forth. If you throw us over the cliff, we’re not going to attract the businesses that we think we need to have to make us prosperous," said Lossing.

The plan would guarantee money for police, fire and other emergency services, but only if voters approve the plan in a statewide election. Other services could face cuts.

The state House Tax Policy Committee will hold a hearing on the proposal Wenesday.

Business
3:18 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 - Turkey with a side of shopping

Target and other big retailers will open this evening, to get a jump on the holiday shopping season (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Many Michigander plans to mix turkey and shopping today.   But one Michigan State University professor believes it’s a delicate balance for retailers.

It used to be that large crowds lined up in the early hours the day after Thanksgiving to jam Michigan stores and take advantage of Black Friday sales.

No more.

Walmart, Target and other major retailers plan to open this evening, well before midnight, barely giving many Michiganders time to digest their turkey dinners before starting on their holiday shopping lists.

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Economy
3:58 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Unemployment in Michigan declines, labor force reaches yearly high

Michigan's unemployment rate and labor force from Oct. 2002 to Oct. 2012. (Source Michigan DTMB).
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Michigan’s unemployment rate declined to 9.1 percent in the month of October, while total employment rose by 13,000, according to a report released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

The unemployment number is down eight-tenths of a percentage point from the same time last year.

Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives,  said that Michigan has seen "modest improvements" in several labor market indicators since 2011.

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Economy
3:59 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stateside: Is Michigan Improving?

Dr. Ballard calls for a focus on Michigan's education system.
Michigan State University Press

Is Michigan better off than it was four years ago? The question is important when assessing the progress of both our state’s citizens and the politicians who govern it.

To further investigate this question, Stateside’s Cyndy Canty spoke with Michigan State University Economics Professor, Dr. Charley Ballard.

Although no simple answer to this question exists, Ballard felt generally positive about our state’s status.

“For the state as a whole, I would say the state is definitely better off than it was three years ago.”

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Economy
3:38 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Michigan unemployment rate rises for fourth consecutive month

August data from Michigan's DTMB show a four percent increase in the unemployment rate.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

The unemployment rate in Michigan is up four-tenths of a point from last month to 9.4 percent says a new report released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

This marks the fourth consecutive month that Michigan's jobless rate has increased.

The data reveal little change in the labor force, as the total number of unemployed increased by 16,000.

From the report:

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Economy
4:13 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Stateside: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Charley Ballard, Michigan State University economist, spoke with Cyndy about the health of Michigan's economy.
Michigan State University

Important signs are pointing to new life in Michigan's economy.

Brand-new reports tell us that Michigan's household income is up, foreclosure rates are down, and the poverty rate is down.

Some politicians and experts tell us the economy is beginning to bounce back. But here's the reality of the economic recovery: while jobs are available, they are not high-paying jobs.

Economist Dr. Charley Ballard of Michigan State University spoke to Cindy from East Lansing.

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Commentary
10:50 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Commentary: Growing Inequality

Last week, I talked about the Michigan House of Representatives voting to slash the state income tax over the next six years. I thought this didn’t make a lot of sense, given that the state is having a hard time paying for essential programs now.

Later that day, I talked more about this with the man I think has the best overall knowledge of our state’s economy: Michigan State University professor Charles Ballard, author of the best little book there is on the subject: "Michigan’s Economic Future."

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Commentary
9:51 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Commentary: Simple and Wrong

Every so often, I run into someone with a simple solution that they believe would fix all our problems. Sometimes it is a flat tax. Sometimes it is single-payer health insurance.

But whenever someone stops me at the grocery store to explain their simple plan for saving mankind, or at least Michigan, all I can think about is H.L. Mencken’s famous maxim that, “for every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.”

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Economy
2:20 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

Michigan's economy showing signs of improvement, but there are "headwinds" coming

(Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A Comerica Bank economist says Michigan's economy is making a comeback.   But clouds could be on the horizon.

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Auto/Economy
12:18 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Michigan's Population is Balanced

For the first time in six years, Michigan has a balanced population.  An even number of people moved out of… and into… the state in 2011, according to Atlas Van Lines.

The report says Michigan is one of only three Midwest states to have a balanced population, including Iowa and South Dakota.

Ken Darga is the state demographer. He said some of the stabilization came from those left when unemployment hit its highest, and are now returning.

“People who left Michigan in previous years for economic reasons, are now able to come back now that the economy is improving,” Darga said.

Darga also attributes the balance to students who left the state for college and returned after graduation.

Inform our coverage: Have you or someone you know left the Midwest?

Auto/Economy
11:59 pm
Sat December 31, 2011

Michigan's economic picture in 2012 - stable, but uneven

Michigan’s economy will continue to stabilize in 2012.

That’s the prediction of Comerica Bank’s chief economist Robert Dye. Dye expects Michigan’s auto and furniture industries will continue to show some growth, but he expects economic growth will be uneven in Michigan.  

“I would say that central, west Michigan…the Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids…Ann Arbor…will probably show a little bit stronger gains than…southeast Michigan," said Dye.  

Dye said Michigan’s economic picture in 2012 will be heavily dependent on what happens in Europe and Asia. 

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