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Michigan improves in competitiveness

Staff writer |
Michigan's overall economic competitiveness is improving, according to the results of a second annual public policy study conducted by Northwood University on behalf of the Michigan Chamber Foundation.

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"Michigan is on an aggressive comeback path. Clearly, when you look at Michigan's competitive position compared to other states, there is still room for improvement, but this is great news for Michigan," said Timothy G. Nash of Northwood University, who led the study.

The 2013 Michigan Economic Competitiveness Study, conducted by economists from Northwood University, Rutgers University and Central Michigan University for the Michigan Chamber Foundation, analyzed more than 200 variables to create the Northwood University Competitiveness Index.

The study noted challenges with Michigan's energy costs, auto insurance rates, population migration and entrepreneurial activity. The Michigan Chamber Foundation's 2013 Michigan Economic Competitiveness Study also contains two new features looking at the competitiveness of the Great Lakes Region; and a snapshot of key Great Lakes Region Cities.

The Great Lakes Region, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, outpaced national gross state product growth rates over the last two years, with Michigan leading the region. Out of seven of the largest regional cities, both Detroit and Grand Rapids saw the highest GDP growth rates over the same period.

The study considered Michigan a non-right-to-work state for the period measured, 2000-2011, and again notes that more study is needed to quantify the relationship between right-to-work legislation and economic competitiveness.

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