Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy

Post secondary certificates vs. four-year degrees

Governor Snyder is in the vanguard of elected officials and business leaders who are pushing for more Michigan students to pursue occupational certificates and associate degrees with an occupational major rather than a four-year degree, particularly in non STEM fields. Supposedly we have too many of the latter and too few of the former to […]

Careers and the liberal arts

As you know we believe that successful careers going forward are going to look far more like rock climbing than ladder climbing. The notion of career ladders––known linear steps up––is increasingly out of date in a world where globalization and technology make jobs and occupations less secure. Add to that, as Daniel Pink explores in […]

The bottom ten 2

We explored in our last post the ten states with the highest net employment earnings (wages and employer paid benefits) per capita. The component of per capita income we believe is the key to long term sustainable growth in the standard of living. And the best measure of the more and better jobs that is […]

Not occupation specific education 1

A central theme of our work has been that successful careers, in an economy constantly changing due to globalization and technology, requires us to be good rock climbers, rather than ladder climbers. Career ladders, where you worked your way up within an occupational category, are increasingly toast in a world where jobs and occupations are […]

A question 2

Governor Snyder in a MLive op ed writes: “Raising the taxes on our job creators would be economically challenging for Michigan, especially after we’ve come so far in reinventing our business climate.” (The op ed is arguing against proposals to raise the corporate income tax to help pay for roads.) The Governor, of course, is […]

Liberal arts and tech

Terrific Forbes article by George Anders entitled “That Useless Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket”. Its a must read for anyone interested in education or economic development. Conventional wisdom among folks working in either area has become that the only four year degrees or more that are needed by the economy and provide […]

Employment in Michigan and Minnesota II

In my last post we explored the differences in the employment to population ratio in Michigan compared to Minnesota by gender, race and age. We found that across the board, with the exceptions of Asians, Minnesotans work more than Michiganders. So much so that if the proportion of Michiganders who worked was the same as […]


Employment in Michigan and Minnesota

The biggest push-back we get on our using Minnesota as a model for Michigan is racial. Some version of “they don’t have the concentration of minorities–particularly low income African Americans–we have.” Which is true. Racial minorities are 13 percent of Minnesota’s working age population (16 and older), 21 percent of Michigan’s. (For African Americans its […]