UM Releases Updated Economic Outlook

Substantial economic disruption has occurred since the University of Michigan’s RSQE released economic outlooks for the U.S. and Michigan economies in February 2020. Today, they released an updated set of interim forecasts has been released, which includes two scenarios – a short-lived contraction in economic activity or an “effective mitigation scenario” and a “prolonged fallout scenario”.  The analysis is based on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) 2005 study “A Potential Influenza Pandemic: Possible Macroeconomic Effects and Policy Issues.”

View the full analysis or read a summary below:

RSQE expects an official recession to be declared in both scenarios considered. It remains possible for events to unfold in a more positive direction than the two scenarios.


On an annual basis, the United States real GDP growth in 2020 registers approximately  0.5  percent in the effective mitigation scenario and negative  1.8  percent in the prolonged fallout scenario, or roughly four percentage points lower than in the February outlook.  The level of real  GDP  in the effective mitigation scenario catches up to the previous forecast level by mid-2021, but in the prolonged fallout scenario, it runs substantially below the previous forecast level throughout the forecast horizon.


In the effective mitigation scenario, Michigan’s payroll employment count declines by approximately 155,000 jobs from the first to third quarters of 2020. In the prolonged fallout scenario, the decline is 400,000 jobs. Although in the former scenario, the state’s job count returns to its forecast path from the previous forecast by early 2022, it remains well below the previous expectations in the latter scenario.

Unemployment Rate

In the effective mitigation scenario, Michigan’s unemployment rate rises from 4.1 percent in 2019 to 5.8 percent in 2020, before declining back to  4.5  percent in  2021.  In the prolonged fallout scenario,  the state’s unemployment rate jumps to 8.1 percent in 2020 and 8.8 percent in 2021 before beginning to decline; it reaches a peak quarterly rate of 10.0 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

Key Points

  • There is limited economic information available, and the situation is evolving quickly.
  • Protecting people’s lives at the expense of short-term economic pain is justified on public health grounds and by long-term economic logic.
  • It is imperative for the federal and state governments to mitigate the pandemic’s economic damage to vulnerable people’s livelihoods.

View the full analysis.

The Future of Michigan’s Booming Cannabis Industry      

View the full video playlist from this event: 

Last week, the Chamber’s “The Business of Cannabis: Impact and Opportunities” showcased the potential of Michigan’s already booming cannabis industry. Speakers shed light on the future of drug testing in the workplace, economic opportunities in the industry, and workforce development through criminal record expungement. 

“It’s not just a medicine, it’s always been a business,” said Denise A. Pollicella, founder and managing partner at Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan. “It is on pace to bring in more revenue than that of the national football league.” 

Since Michigan voters moved to legalize the adult use of cannabis last year, businesses have begun to revise their hiring and management procedures when it comes to drug testing and criminal records. Eric Mahler, assistant general counsel at Meritor Inc., said the automobile components manufacturer may consider revising their policy on cannabis. 

“There’s a struggle in our company whether or not to keep the zero-tolerance policy when we need workers,” said Mahler. “Are we going to sacrifice workers that we really need?” 

For the people who served time behind bars for cannabis-related crimes, most still face the repercussions even with the legalization of adult use.  

Most people formerly incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes are not taking advantage of expungement laws, said Maurice Morton, managing partner of The Morton Law Group. This hinders their ability to obtain jobs, which is why law firms like The Morton Law Group offer expungement services for free. 

“There’s talk of automatic expungement which is what is needed,” said Morton. “It’s necessary to make it easier for them because jobs in this state are great, they’re high paying.”  

The industry’s growth is also generating new job opportunities in Michigan. One in-demand job is as a “budtender” which are salesclerks who guide buyers with their cannabis purchases, explained Allison Ireton, founder of cannabis dispensary Bloom City Club. 

“These are $20 an hour jobs that aren’t going away,” said Ireton. “They’re revitalizing retail. You can’t order this on Amazon.” 

Destination Detroit’s Economic Development Partners Attract $384.9 Million, 2,639 Jobs to Southeast Michigan in Second Quarter of 2016

Destination Detroit’s Economic Development PartnersDuring the second quarter of 2016, Destination Detroit’s economic development partners directly assisted with the creation of 2,639 new jobs and $384.9 million in new investment.

One of the largest and most notable projects came from global automotive supplier Flex-N-Gate, who in May announced their decision to build a new, high-tech parts factory in the I-94 Industrial Park located on Detroit’s east side.

“Flex-N-Gate’s decision to invest here is meaningful on so many levels. Not only does a project like this reaffirm Detroit as one of the global centers for automotive manufacturing, but, most importantly, this plant will bring hundreds of well-paying jobs to local residents,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corp. President and CEO Rodrick Miller.

“The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. is proud to have played a role in this project’s success and we look forward to working with Flex-N-Gate well into the future. From infrastructure to talent, the Detroit region has a lot to offer companies,” Miller continued.

Learn more about a few of the projects that helped drive economic growth in the Detroit region from April through June of 2016:

Quarter 2 Project Highlights
Company: Flex-N-Gate
Location: Detroit
Partner Lead: Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
New Jobs: 400 initial, up to 650 over the next three to five years
New Investment: $95 million
Description: Flex-N-Gate, a Tier 1 supplier of bumpers, lighting, front-end modules and other automotive products, announced in May its plan to construct a 30-acre, $95-million factory in Detroit’s I-94 Industrial Park. Once completed, the plant will initially hire 400 people to provide aftermarket parts for Ford Motor Co., with the potential to employ up to 650 workers over the next few years. “The headline is about jobs. Hundreds of outstanding, well-paying jobs,” said Flex-N-Gate owner Shahid Khan in a Detroit Free Press article profiling the project.

Company: CityFlats Hotel and Sperry’s Movie House
Location: Port Huron
Partner Lead: Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County
New Jobs: 40
New Investment: $20 million
Description: Michigan-based developer Chuck Reid is spearheading two major mixed-use redevelopments in downtown Port Huron. The area’s historic Sperry’s building is currently undergoing construction to become a movie house, complete with 12 small theatres, a total of 400 seats and a restaurant. The $11-million project is aiming to open within the next few months.

In addition, Reid is slated to transform the former Michigan National Bank building into the state’s third CityFlats Hotel. Once finished, the $9-million building renovation will include retail, conference space and a ballroom.

Company: Cosworth
Location: Shelby Township
Partner Lead: Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development
New Jobs: 50
New Investment: $30 million
Description: After initially exploring the option to build a manufacturing operation in Indianapolis, Ind., United Kingdom-based Cosworth will construct a new facility in Shelby Township to make V-8 cylinder heads for automakers. The company is expected to invest $30 million in the facility and hire at least 50 new employees. Although active in the automotive, aerospace and defense industries, the engine technologies company is globally recognized for its high-performance race engines, featured frequently in Indy-car competitions.

About Destination Detroit
Representing the 11 counties that make up Southeastern Michigan, Destination Detroit is a collaborative business attraction effort led by the Detroit Regional Chamber in partnership with the region’s principal economic development agencies. Each quarter, Destination Detroit aggregates and promotes the investment and job creation results for projects directly impacted by these organizations.

Will Brexit Impact Michigan Business? Detroit Panel Says ‘Not So Fast’

For the first time since the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union this past summer, experts with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s economic research department tackled key questions from the Southeast Michigan business community on the impact of Brexit in the United States during a panel discussion hosted by the Detroit Association for Business Economics’ (DABE) in September. Senior Vice President David Marshall and Vice President Hesna Gena cautioned from an economist’s standpoint, businesses should not be quick to panic. Read highlights from the discussion.

Brexit Broken Down:

  • In order to exit the Union, the United Kingdom needs to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It will take two years to agree on the terms of the split. However, the United Kingdom won’t invoke Article 50 until 2017 when an outline of the agreement is in place.
  • Once invoked, the clock starts ticking and can’t be stopped unless unanimously voted on. This process could take at least eight to nine years.
  • What happens in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world depends on a final trade agreement, which has various options ranging from little change (least economically harmful) to many changes (most economically harmful).
  • Until a decision is reached on a trade agreement, there won’t be much impact on the economy in the short-term.
  • Much of the impact is likely to happen in the long-term – 10 to 15 years from now.
  • The biggest impact will happen between the United Kingdom and the European Union, due to their closely tied regions and economies.
  • For the United States, the direct impact of Brexit will be low. This is due to the United States’ relatively closed economy with very little trading with the European Union. Thus, the direct trade linkages are not big enough to have an impact on the United States.
  • Changes to the potential trade agreement will determine how it impacts the rest of the world. Thus, the bigger the change, the bigger the impact.

American Society of Employers’ (ASE’s) Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey results for first quarter 2016 reflect stable business outlook for Michigan employers

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2016 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – First Quarter results. Although slightly tempered, the news continues to be good for Michigan, with the percentage of Michigan employers who believe their business outlook will not change or will improve over the next six months remaining consistent at 88% – only 2% below the average over the past year. The percentage of employers who believe their six-month outlook will not change is 61%, the highest it’s been in the past 12 months.

Highlights of ASE 2016 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – First Quarter:

• Although the business outlook is not expected to improve as much as in recent quarterly surveys, the number of Michigan employers expecting to increase hiring or keep hiring levels consistent over the next six months has remained stable at 88%, the same number as fourth quarter 2015 and just 3% lower than a year ago. Only 5% expect to freeze hiring and 8% plan to decrease hiring.
• After being above 40% for the past three quarters, violation of workplace polices as a reason for involuntary separations is back down to 28%, the same as one year ago.
• Lack of job satisfaction as a reason for voluntary separations is the highest it has been in the past year at 30%, after a consistent increase from 16% a year ago.

The survey results were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“Our quarterly economic and employment surveys are a barometer of Michigan’s business climate and it’s good to find employers generally positive about the economy,” Corrado said. “It’s interesting that employee job satisfaction, or lack thereof, as a reason for departing an employer is at a twelve-month high. It is a reminder that top performers crave the things that add up to job satisfaction: challenging work, active mentorship and a vibrant culture.”

Background information on the ASE 2016 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – First Quarter
• 129 organizations from across Michigan participated.
• Organizations with one to 500 Michigan employees made up more than 80% of the survey sample, while organizations with 501 to 1,000 Michigan employees represented almost 5% of the sample. The remaining 14.5% of the sample comes from organizations with over 1,000 Michigan employees.
• A variety of industries are represented, with manufacturing organizations representing nearly 60% of the survey sample

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2016 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – First Quarter, contact ASE’s Compensation and Benefits Surveys department at or 248.353.4500. This survey is available free of charge to ASE members, and is $525 for non-members.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people.

Learn more about ASE at

American Society of Employers’ (ASE) Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey results for fourth quarter 2015 reflect continuing optimism for Michigan business in 2016

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2015 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Fourth Quarter results. The news is good for Michigan, with the majority of respondents seeing the state’s business climate remaining stable or improving in the next six months, with hiring following a similar trend.

Highlights of ASE 2015 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Fourth Quarter:
• The percentage of Michigan employers who believe their business outlook will improve over the next six months remains in the mid-thirties, while more than half (54%) of employers see their six-month outlook as remaining stable.
• Along with this positive business outlook, 88% of Michigan employers are expecting to increase their hiring levels or keep them consistent over the next six months. Only 4% expect to freeze hiring and 8% are planning to decrease hiring.
• 2015 shows a 17% increase in violation of workplace policies as the reason for involuntary terminations from the previous year.
• Across the state of Michigan, the average annual hires increased from almost 14% in 2014 to over 20% in 2015.
• Absenteeism as a reason for involuntary separations decreased 16% from 3rd quarter 2015.
• Personal reasons and retirement as reasons for voluntary separation have both increased since 2013 by about 10%.

The survey results were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“Our survey findings reflect a continuing positive business climate in Michigan for the first six months of 2016 and that’s great news to report during the first quarter,” Corrado said. ““The data on hiring and terminations suggest that both employees and employers have stepped up their respective commitments to maximizing productivity and overall workforce excellence.”

Background information on the ASE 2015 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Fourth Quarter
• 116 organizations from across Michigan participated.
• Organizations with one to 500 Michigan employees made up more than 80% of the survey sample, while organizations with 501 to 1,000 Michigan employees represented nearly 8% of the sample. The remaining 11.9% of the sample come from organizations with over 1,000 Michigan employees.
• A variety of industries are represented, with manufacturing organizations representing nearly 60% of the survey sample. The remaining 40% is represented by trades and services organizations.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2015 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Fourth Quarter, contact ASE’s Compensation and Benefits Surveys department at or 248.353.4500. This survey is available free of charge to ASE members, and is $525 for non-members.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people.

Learn more about ASE at

ArtServe Michigan’s New Creative State Michigan Report Reveals Increased Contributions to Michigan Economy

WIXOM, Mich. (January 28, 2013) – One year following the launch of its nationally recognized report in 2012, ArtServe Michigan – the state’s leading statewide arts and cultural advocacy organization – today released its Creative State Michigan report focused on Fiscal Year 2010. The report details economic and social data from 346 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, representing an estimated 17 percent of the more than 2,000 cultural groups operating statewide. The data reveals that these organizations contributed more than one-half billion dollars in expenditures alone to the Michigan economy in 2010. Learn more at

Among its most compelling data, the report affirms the creative economy as a significant growth sector and strategic opportunity for Michigan’s economy. From 2006 to 2011, the number of arts-related jobs increased by 15 percent to 85,656 jobs in Michigan, while arts-related businesses increased by 65 percent to 28,072. From 2010-2011 alone, jobs increased by 11 percent, while businesses increased by 16 percent. Moreover, of the $553.4 million in annual expenditures by the nonprofit creative community in 2010, nearly $194 million supported salaries for 22,335 jobs.

Nationally, arts and cultural organizations spent $61.1 billion in 2010 and leveraged an additional $74.1 billion in event-related spending by arts audiences, according to Americans for the Arts. This combined $135.2 billion in economic activity supported 4.1 million jobs and generated $22.3 billion in total government revenue.

Michigan’s arts and cultural destinations continue to demonstrate their essential value to the state’s tourism industry, generating more than $2 billion in state tourism revenues in fiscal year 2011. That represents 16 percent of the state’s total tourism revenues in that year – more than golf, boating and sailing, hunting and fishing, and hiking and biking combined.

“Every day, Michigan’s arts and cultural organizations and creative industries are making major contributions to our state’s economy – creating jobs, spending in local communities, generating tourism revenues and shaping vibrant cities and towns that attract talent and business investment,” said Jennifer Goulet, president and CEO of ArtServe. “This year’s Creative State Michigan report reinforces the critical role of Michigan’s creative economy in defining new opportunities to position the sector as a strategic economic tool and resource for our state.”

The report also provides indicators for the resources the arts provide for Michigan’s schools and children, as well as residents of all ages. In 2010, more than 2.7 million students benefitted from educational programs and events offered by arts and cultural venues statewide. These same organizations hosted 26,515 youth and school group visits and facilitated 1,135 programs in schools providing valuable educational experiences at a time when many schools have cut funding for arts programs. Michigan’s cultural groups are reaching growing audiences, reporting more than 15.7 million visits in 2010, 54 percent of which were free of charge.

Data sources for the Creative State Michigan report include the Michigan Cultural Data Project (Michigan CDP), Americans for the Arts’ annual Creative Industries Reports, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation/Pure Michigan. The Michigan CDP data includes FY 2010 data profiles from 346 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. There are nearly 800 organizations registered in the Michigan CDP today, positioning future reports to demonstrate increasing impacts over time.

Launched May 2010, the Michigan CDP is a powerful online management tool with a robust support network designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. It also provides funders with reliable, comparable data to inform grantmaking and helps advocates and researchers better understand and communicate the sector’s impact. A growing national model owned and operated by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the CDP is operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia, with 253 grant programs and close to 14,000 organizations participating across the US.

Twenty Michigan foundations and funders have collaborated to bring the CDP to Michigan and support Creative State Michigan committing to the initiative as an important investment in the growth and sustainability of Michigan’s arts and cultural resources. Melonie Colaianne, president of the MASCO Corporation Foundation, said, “This year’s Creative State Michigan report once again makes a clear and compelling case for the far-reaching contributions of the arts in Michigan – using data from the growing set of cultural organizations participating in the CDP to emphasize the significant ways that arts and culture strengthen the economy and serve our communities. We are looking forward to working with ArtServe to share its findings widely.”

This year Data Driven Detroit once again provided research support for ArtServe Michigan, as an independent examiner of the information. “This effort provides a critical reminder of the importance of the nonprofit sector in Michigan’s economy, supporting previous research from the Michigan Nonprofit Association,” said Director of Data Driven Detroit Kurt Metzger. “By drilling down within the arts and culture sector, the Michigan CDP brings forward a rich new source of detailed data with solid collection methods to deliver a more complete picture of the region’s economic and social activity. We look forward to the continued expansion of CDP contributing organizations, which will serve to broaden and deepen our research in the years to come.”

The Michigan Cultural Data Project is made possible through the leadership and generous support of:
ArtServe Michigan
Barry Community Foundation
Battle Creek Community Foundation
Capital Area Community Foundation
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
Council of Michigan Foundations
Erb Family Foundation
Frey Foundation
Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau
Hudson-Webber Foundation
Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
MASCO Corporation Foundation
Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs
Michigan Humanities Council
National Endowment for the Arts
Petoskey – Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation
Rotary Charities of Traverse City
Ruth Mott Foundation
The Skillman Foundation
Southfield Community Foundation

ArtServe Michigan is a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to cultivating the creative potential of Michigan’s arts and cultural sector and creative industries to enhance the public health and well-being of Michigan, its people and communities. ArtServe advocates for arts, culture, arts education and the power of the creative economy in Michigan; provides leadership and professional development for artists, creative practitioners, and arts and cultural organizations; and connects arts and cultural leaders and supporters through strategic communications. Contact ArtServe Michigan at 248-912-0760 or visit

An Amazing Story

Mackinac Policy Conference will help write the next chapter in Michigan’s turnaround
By Governor Rick Snyder
May 2012: Page 14

Michigan has a great story to tell, and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference will go a long way in writing the next chapter.

The path to success for any organization is paved with a clear vision, achievable goals, a well-thought strategy and constructive dialogue. It’s no different for the state of Michigan.

That’s why the Mackinac Policy Conference continues to be a driving force in shaping Michigan’s agenda. For more than 30 years, it has helped to guide Michigan on its journey by providing a forum for the critical exchange of ideas. Its ability to bring together leaders in the political, business and philanthropic communities for an intensive, informative gathering sets this conference apart from all others.

But the event is much more than a conference. Thanks to the outstanding leadership of Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah and his team, it’s actually a call to action that doesn’t end when we leave Mackinac Island. We are committed to pursuing concrete action items that translate into tangible results. For example, last year’s policy conference resulted in a “to-do” list of seven items slated for action. I look forward to seeing the status report that will be shared by the Chamber.

In the meantime, we should be heartened by the numerous other indicators around the state that underscore Michigan’s continuing turnaround. After struggling through the last decade with a lagging economy, Michigan is poised to be America’s “comeback kid.” Consider the following:

  • Just last year, we were cutting our way out of a $1.5 billion deficit. Today, we’re proposing a state budget that strategically invests in key priorities such as education, public safety and transportation.
  • A few short years ago, Michigan was notorious for its high unemployment rate. Today, while much work remains to reduce it even more, we’re seeing the lowest jobless rate since August 2008.
  • Roughly 80,000 private-sector jobs were created in the state last year.
  • Personal income in Michigan last year grew at the strongest rate in more than a decade, exceeding the rate of its Great Lakes neighbors and the entire nation.
  • Michigan’s corporate tax ranking will go from 49th in the nation to 7th thanks to our bold tax reforms, according to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate.

There’s no doubt that the Great Lakes State is fast becoming a national model of success and innovation. The word is out – Michigan is the place to do business and enjoy a great quality of life.

None of this is by accident. Michiganders are working together with relentless positive action to do what we do best – overcome challenges and build a brighter future for our children. Of course, our partners in the Legislature are making the bold but thoughtful reforms necessary to get Michigan back on track.

But our work is far from done. We need to keep our foot on the gas pedal because challenges remain. There’s much more that we can do to enhance Michigan’s business climate, such as moving forward with the New International Trade Crossing. We also must focus on strengthening our communities – especially our urban areas – by creating a sense of “place” that attracts investors and talented professionals. This is especially important considering Michigan was the only state to lose population according the most recent census.

Still, it’s clear that Michigan’s needle is moving in the right direction. In every corner of our state, there is a growing confidence that Michigan’s brightest days are still ahead. Making good use of tools such as the Mackinac Policy Conference, we will tap the boundless energy and creativity that are the hallmarks of all Michiganders, and create unlimited opportunities for the next generation.

Rick Snyder is the governor of the state of Michigan.