Print Friendly and PDF

Chamber: Personal income in SE Michigan growing, education lags

Crain’s Detroit Business

By Chad Livengood

January 25, 2017

Personal income growth for workers in Southeast Michigan outpaced most peer regions in recent years, but metro Detroit and surrounding counties continue to lag behind in educational achievement.

That’s the takeaway from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s State of the Region Report released Wednesday at a chamber luncheon at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel.

The annual report details the progress the region has made in a multitude of areas:

  • The unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, down from 16.7 percent in July 2009 at the height of the recession.
  • The 225,000 new jobs added to metro Detroit’s labor force since 2010 surpassed Boston, Minneapolis and Seattle in total new jobs.
  • Per capita income has grown 13.6 percent in the Detroit area between 2010 and 2015. Median household income rose 11.3 percent during that time period, from $48,198 per family to $53,628.
  • Patent origination in the Detroit market grew by 49 percent between 2010 and 2015, beating the national average of 31 percent. The 3,300 utility patents for Metro Detroit in 2015 was the most ever recorded in a single year for the region, according to the report.
  • Median home values in the Detroit region have increased 21.4 percent, outperforming all peer regions, including Chicago, where home values are down 5 percent.

“Home values going up is a positive for loans and for growing that business,” said Rick Hampson, state president of Citizens Bank, which is a sponsor of the Detroit chamber’s State of the Region luncheon.

Home values, however, have not returned to 2009 levels. The 2015 average median home value in metropolitan Detroit was $151,000, while the median value was $158,000 in 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau data cited in the Detroit Regional Chamber’s report.

“The majority of the metrics point to business growth,” Hampson said in an interview.

Despite the economic progress metro Detroit has made compared with rival cities, the region trails far behind in educational attainment.

In 2015, 38.4 percent of adults over age 25 in Southeast Michigan had an associate’s degree or higher, just below the national average of 38.8 percent.

The Detroit region’s degree attainment trails far behind Minneapolis, where more than 50 percent of the adults have education beyond high school.

“While some progress is being made, we’re not making the dramatic progress that we need to make in order to ensure our position in the 21st century,” Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah said in an interview.

The Detroit chamber has a goal of 41 percent of adults over age 25 with an associate’s degree or higher, which would put Southeast Michigan on par with the St. Louis region.

Baruah said businesses need to remain focused on affecting public policies that boost high school graduation rates and strengthen a pipeline of students into higher education.

View the original article here: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20170125/NEWS/170129901/chamber-personal-income-in-se-michigan-growing-education-lags