News Story

Data Shows Michigan Economy Doing Well, AP Calls It ‘Only Slight Growth’

Headline points to Trump

A recent Associated Press story casting doubt on the strength of the Michigan economy was carried the title “Trump touts economy, but not everyone in Michigan feeling it.”

The article put the spotlight on the city of Saginaw, quoting residents there who associated terms like “felt better” with the years when Barack Obama was president.

Since the election of President Donald Trump, there has been “only slight manufacturing growth,” according to the AP article. It read, “Manufacturing is up slightly, but now accounts for only about 20% of the state’s jobs, down from half in the 1960s.”

It also stated, “However, Michigan’s poverty rate is 14.2%, higher than the national mark of 12.3%. And it still ranks in the bottom half of states in percentage of residents with college degrees.”

Here is some relevant information and context about Michigan’s economy since 2011.

Jobs in manufacturing, still a key employment sector in the state, have increased from 483,600 in January 2011 to 635,500 in June 2019, a 31% increase.

For seven years in a row, Michigan’s poverty rate has fallen, down from 17.5% in 2011 to 14.2% in 2017.

Median household income in Michigan has increased from $50,106 in 2011 (adjusted for inflation) to $54,909 in 2017 (the most recent data available). That's a 9.6 percent increase even after inflation.

The state’s unemployment rate has fallen from 11.0% in January 2011 to 4.2% in June 2019, while the number of people who are unemployed dropped from 517,801 to 209,922.

Michigan doesn’t fare as well when comparisons over time include the state’s “lost decade” and "one-state recession" of the 2000s.

“But how long are you going to keep complaining about the 2000s?” asked James Hohman, the director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “Michigan median household income increased above inflation every year since 2012, and 2018 data isn’t out yet.”