Report: Michigan Needs to Create More Jobs in Knowledge-based Service Industries

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While Michigan is one of the nation’s leaders in job creation, it is considered a low-prosperity state, with both a subpar proportion of jobs in knowledge-based services and number of adults with a four-year degree or more, says a new report by Michigan Future Inc. in Ann Arbor.

“What stands out in the economic and education data we analyzed is that in the fifth year of a national expansion — and an even stronger domestic auto industry recovery — Michigan and its two big regions, on nearly all the metrics, is a national laggard,” says Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future Inc., a nonprofit organization working to develop its knowledge-driven economy in Michigan.

“Gone are the days when the auto industry — still the prime engine of the state’s economy — could propel Michigan to being one of the most prosperous states as was true for most of the 20th century,” he adds.

Glazer says Michigan ranks 35th in per-capita income and also ranks near the bottom in terms of the proportion of adults who work, at 42nd in the nation. Metro Detroit ranks 38th nationwide in per-capita income.

According to the report, the state ranks 34th in four-year degree attainment. and 26th in the proportion of total wages coming from knowledge-based services, which include finance and insurance; professional services; health care; education; information; and management of companies.

He says jobs in goods-producing industries like manufacturing are experiencing a long-term decline and are no longer the source of most middle-class jobs.

“High prosperity is occurring chiefly in those places (urban regions) where knowledge-based enterprises across many sectors are concentrating,” Glazer says. “They are concentrating in areas with a high proportion of adults with a bachelor’s degree or more.”

To view the full report, click here. 

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