Michigan ranks second in the nation behind South Carolina in employment recovery since the end of the Great Recession, with promising prospects for continual economic growth, says an annual report released by Business Facilities, a leading B2B publication.
Since December 2010, about 295,500 private sector jobs were created in the state, according to Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Michigan dropped from a five-year high of 14.2 percent to the current 7.7 percent. The 6.5-drop in percentage points is more than any other state, says the report.
“The state’s economic policies have had a dramatic and measurable impact in growing and attracting businesses,” says Michael Finney, CEO and president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “The evidence in the Business Facilities report is verifiable and compelling. It’s nice to see others around the country taking note of our progress.”
Finney cites several reasons for Michigan’s economic turnaround. These include the reinvention and financial success of the automotive industry; replacing a complex business tax with a streamlined corporate income tax; becoming a right-to-work state; and creating a business-friendly environment, by offering performance-based incentives to businesses and eliminating more than 1,500 burdensome regulations.
The survey notes Michigan is the top state for automotive jobs and continues to “rule the roost as supply chain job leader” with 500,000 auto-related jobs, representing 22 percent of the U.S. auto industry workforce. The state also ranks sixth in automotive manufacturing strength, a category that considers growth potential, industry trends, and commitments by major automakers.
“The rankings are a snapshot, and there are many reasons to believe Michigan is heading to the top spot,” says Nigel Francis, senior vice president of Michigan Automotive Industry Office, established last fall to serve as a catalyst for attracting auto-related companies and developing the state’s automotive industry.
From 2009-2013, auto suppliers spent $5 billion and automakers committed about $14 billion, according to the Center for Automotive Research.
“The presence of major automakers, suppliers, and groundbreaking research positions Michigan to be the top U.S. automotive state, and the global capital of the auto industry,” Francis says.
On a regional level, Detroit is listed as the 10th best metro region for economic growth potential.
To read the full rankings, published in Business Facilities’ August issue, click here.