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Michigan Business Leaders Confident on Michigan Economy, but Feel the Impacts of Labor Shortages and Inflation

  • 70% of executives say U.S. and Michigan economies will stay the same or improve over the next six to 12 months 
  • Most executives say their businesses are doing better than before the pandemic 

DETROIT  Concerns about labor shortages and inflation are weighing on the minds of Michigans business leaders, according to a quarterly economic survey released today by Business Leaders for Michigan.  Labor shortages are being felt across all job categories, including in manufacturing, office and front-line positions, with 85% of survey respondents expecting to have trouble filling positions over the next six-to-12 months.  We must take significant steps to address the labor shortage across our state, said Jeff Donofrio, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. Our recent benchmarking study shows Michigans labor force participation rate is ranked 41st in the nation, and companies are feeling the effects. The historic state budget surplus gives Michigan a unique chance to increase the number of people with degrees and credentials and remove barriers to work, helping solve these talent gaps.  About 49% of survey respondents expect inflation to continue at its current rate and 34% expect it to increase over the next six-to-12 months, while 16% say inflation is likely to come down. The biggest impacts of inflation are in materials and wages.  Despite the challenges, 70% of executives say their business is doing better than before the pandemic. In addition, 55% of executives say the Michigan economy will stay the same, 22% say it will improve and 24% say it will get worse in the next six-to-12 months; 43% say the U.S. economy will stay the same, 28% say it will improve and 28% expect it to get worse.   Other significant findings include:

94% of executives expect their companys employment and capital investment in Michigan to stay the same or grow over the next six-to-12 months

75% expect their companys real estate footprint to remain the same, while 4% expect it to increase and 21% expect it to decline over the next six-to-12 months

Business Leaders for Michigan conducted the internal member survey Feb. 1-15, 2022.  

About Business Leaders for Michigan:
Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top 10 state for jobs, education, widely shared prosperity, and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the executive leaders of Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Our members drive nearly 40% of the state’s economy, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly half of all Michigan public university students.  Find out more at