Michigan Ranked 21st in National Economic Competitiveness Study


The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has released its Economic Competitiveness Study conducted by Northwood University’s McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise Entrepreneurship. The national results show Michigan’s climb to 21st place from 25th place on Northwood University’s State Competitiveness Index in the past year.

The study compares all aspects of Michigan’s economy nationally using data from 1998 to 2016. Michigan has displayed signs of economic progress since 2012, climbing to 21 from 47.

“This study offers the most detailed and honest assessment of our state’s economy,” says Timothy Nash, senior vice president of strategic and corporate alliances and director of the McNair Center at Northwood University in Midland. “Michigan has led the Great Lakes Region in average GDP growth since the end of the Great Recession (in 2008), ranking sixth nationally.”

This year’s study examined the Michigan and U.S automobile industries, which has contributed to Michigan’s GDP growth and remains the state’s largest economic driver (2017 U.S. auto sales are projected to top 17.5 million units).

Highlights of the report include:

  • The Michigan economy began its eighth year of economic recovery in the summer of 2017.
  • Job growth has slowed, but still averaged about 1 percent growth in the first half of 2017.
  • The University of Michigan projects job growth for the second half of 2017 and solid job growth of 1.5 percent by the end of the first half of 2018.
  • From December of 2010 to December of 2016, Michigan led the country in the creation of manufacturing jobs and was 6th in the creation of private sector jobs with more than 560,200 jobs created.
  • Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped more than 67 percent since late 2009, making it the top-performing state in this category at the end of Q2 2017.

Michigan remains the automotive management capital of the U.S. as well as its design and R&D center. In 2016, the U.S. automobile industry reached an all-time record for automobiles, SUVs and light trucks sold at just over 17.5-million vehicles.

“Michigan’s economy has been on a path of strong recovery and growth,” says Bob Thomas, executive director of the Michigan Chamber Foundation. “We are optimistic that Michigan can become an overall top 15 state by 2020.”

A full version of the report can be read here.

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