Michigan and Great Lakes Region Face Ups and Downs [GRAPHS]

Urban Institute says states’ comeback depends on keeping young people, welcoming immigrants.

A new study confirms what many people already knew–Michigan’s economy has taken a beating over the last two decades. The report from the Urban Institute details just how hard the state was hit. Here’s a bit of what researchers discovered:

*Michigan lost 45 percent of its manufacturing employment (413,000 jobs) from 1998 to 2010.

*The state’s median household income dropped almost 20 percent from 2000 to 2010, the sharpest decline in the nation. 

*Since 2010, jobs have been coming back to Michigan, but incomes have risen only slightly.

The findings are in the Urban Institute’s report, “The Future of the Great Lakes Region”. One of the authors, Rolf Pendall, says the health care and hospitality industries have seen the strongest job growth. But it comes with a cost.

Urban Institute

“Those jobs tend to be pretty poorly paid,” Pendall says. He noted that the number of jobs paying between $11 and $28 per hour has declined, while the number of jobs on either side of those rates has increased or remained steady.

Pendall also found that people under age 35 have been leaving Michigan for years. But he says that trend could be turned around if the public and private sectors invest in young people. “Not just the children themselves, but the parents,” Pendall says. The Urban Institute recommends creating a family-friendly labor market that offers things young adults want, such as good health care and parental leave.

The study also found:




Great Lakes jobs recovery has lagged behind the rest of the country:

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Lower-wage jobs fueled employment growth:

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The region is becoming more diverse, but at a slower rate than the rest of the country:

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And younger workers should offset the loss of older ones:

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Read the entire study below.


The Future of the Great Lakes Region by WDET 101.9 FM on Scribd



  • Pat Batcheller
    Pat Batcheller is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news, traffic and weather updates during Morning Edition. He is an amateur musician.