Print Friendly and PDF

2019-2020 State of the Region Report Shows Economy Growth Slowing

For the past six years, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual State of the Region report has benchmarked the economic health of the region against national peer metro regions, documenting its growth and areas of improvement post-recession. While previous years have shown steady growth, this year’s report finds that growth is slowing in some areas including exports, foreign direct investment, and unemployment rates.

Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah presented the State of the Region report to more than 350 attendees at Ford Field, detailing how while the regional economy continues to grow along with per capita income, jobs, and median home values – other key measurements such as exports, housing permits, and foreign direct investments have decreased slightly.

“There are more and more metrics where we’re not quite doing as well as we used to,” said Baruah. Unemployment, which has steadily decreased since the recession, has “ticked up slightly,” he noted.

Here are the key takeaways from the report:

  • Growth continues for private sector jobs in the region.
  • Detroit regional population increased slightly in 2018.
  • Median home values have grown 32% since 2014.
  • Detroit region ranks lowest in labor force participation.
  • Michigan’s foreign direct investments dropped to $1 billion in 2018.
  • Office vacancy rates fall below the national rate two years in a row.
  • Despite declining, Detroit still holds the highest poverty rate among peers.
  • Median household income rose 15.3% since 2014.

Along with these benchmarks, Baruah also noted the Chamber’s efforts in addressing opportunities for improvement mentioned in the report.

“Our overall goal as a region needs to be that our region is educated, employed, healthy, and able to win in the 21st century economy,” said Baruah.

Baruah debuted the Chamber’s initiative, the Michigan 2030 Plan, a long-term mission and policy roadmap to outline the next ten years.

“The challenges in the next decade might actually be more complicated than the decade that just passed,” said Baruah.

Read and download the report.