Published in Economic Development

Michigan execs see state, national economies in holding pattern

BY Friday, August 02, 2019 09:26am

The latest outlook survey by Business Leaders for Michigan points to a stable state economy or slower growth in the months ahead with continued business investments.

More than six in 10 of the business executives responding to the semi-annual survey from Business Leaders for Michigan said they expect both the U.S. and Michigan economy to perform “about the same” over the next six to 12 months.

One-quarter expect worse or slower U.S. economic growth and one-third believe Michigan’s economy will do the same. One in 10 respondents believe the U.S. economy will do better over the next six months to a year, and just 5 percent see a better state economy ahead.

More than half of respondents expect their company to maintain present employment levels and capital investments. Another 28 percent expect better or higher employment levels and nearly 36 percent see higher capital investments by their company.

“While Michigan’s senior executives remain positive about their companies’ abilities to continue growing jobs and investing capital in the state, a growing number are getting concerned about an economic downturn,” Business Leader for Michigan President and CEO Doug Rothwell said in a statement. “The complexities surrounding U.S. and international trade relations, as well as the political and election cycle, are causing a bit more pessimism than we have seen in past years.”

Across the state, seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates rose in all but one of the 17 regional labor markets, as both total employment and labor force levels increased in most areas, according to a report this week from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. 

“Regional jobless rates were up in June due to residents entering the summer job market,” Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. 

For example, in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metropolitan statistical area, which had an unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, 4,900 people joined the labor force in June, a month-to-month increase of 0.8 percent, and up 0.9 percent from the same period a year ago. 

Ottawa County at 3.2 percent continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state. 

Statewide, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector led in jobs gains with 4.2 percent growth. 

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