Blog

40th in employment 2

Michigan’s unemployment rate in January is the lowest it has been in fifteen years. But the state ranked 40th in 2015 in the proportion of adults who worked. How can that be? An unemployment rate at the national average while at the same time having a smaller proportion of those 16 and older working than […]


States in recession and state economic policy

Most observers labeled Michigan’s economy from 2000-2007 as a single state recession. And interpreted it as caused primarily by state policy. In our reports Don Grimes and I labeled it a single industry recession. That the root cause of Michigan’s so-called lost decade was not policy, but the collapse of its dominant industry–motor vehicles. Michigan’s […]


David Cameron on education

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Life Chances speech which we highlighted in our last post includes recommendations on education. Cameron, once again, lays out an approach outside the mainstream at least here in Michigan and the U.S. He calls for a broad, rigorous liberal arts education for all children, not just the children of the […]


A speech worth reading

Terrific speech by British Prime Minister David Cameron on poverty. You can read/view it here. Highly recommended! Cameron––who heads the Conservative Party––lays out a comprehensive strategy for improving the life chances of those growing up in poverty. That involves an active government in both the economic and social challenges that the poor face. Cameron starts […]


Low performing Detroit charters continued

There continues to be a widespread belief that low student achievement in places like Detroit have little to do with the quality of the schools. So holding charter schools in Detroit accountable for high standards is asking for something that is not achievable. Basically the story line is that urban kids bring too many deficits […]


GE to Boston, ConAgra to Chicago 1

For years we have used the following quote from Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, to describe what increasingly drives state and local economic growth: “Best place to make a future Forbes 400 fortune? Start with this proposition: The most valuable natural resource in the 21st century is brains. Smart people tend to be mobile. […]


Stagnant manufacturing employment 2

Good news in the latest report on employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2015 saw the most net new jobs since the boom of the late 1990s. 2.65 million jobs were added in 2015. Of those 35,000 were in manufacturing. You read that right: manufacturing contributed less than one tenth of one percent of […]