New Report: Health Care is Michigan’s Largest Private Sector Employer

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The health care industry employs more than 570,000 Michigan residents, making it the largest private-sector employer in the state, says a new report by the Partnership for Michigan’s Health.

“Hospitals and health care providers produce jobs that result in billions of dollars in wages earned and taxes paid, boosting the state’s economy,” said Spencer Johnson, president of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. “As the state and the nation slowly recover from the financial challenges of the past several years, health care has continued to be an economic engine for the state, individual regions, and local communities.”

The 2014 edition of The Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan finds that Michigan’s health care workers earn more than $34 billion a year in wages, salaries, and benefits and, along with their employers, contribute more than $7.6 billion annually in local, state, and federal taxes.

Because direct health care employment produces more jobs that are indirectly related to health care, the state’s health care sector also supports nearly 979,000 additional people who earn more than $52 billion a year, Johnson said.

By comparison, manufacturing employment in Michigan is slightly above 500,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, a recent report by Michigan State University researchers also shows that tourism has had a positive impact on the state’s economy, with tourism spending expected to increase 4.5 percent in 2014.

“Many of the factors we look at suggest that Michigan tourism will experience another strong year,” said Dan McCole, assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Community Sustainability. “The stock markets, gross domestic product, and consumer confidence are all high. Unemployment is down and housing markets continue to improve. With each year of the recovery, people have more and more confidence in the economy and are therefore more comfortable spending money.”

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