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New Study Finds Michigan's Economic Competitiveness Improving

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Michigan is becoming a better state for attracting and retaining businesses.  That's according to a new study conducted by Northwood University for the Michigan Chamber Foundation. The head of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the progress, but recognizes more work needs to be done. 

Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley sees Detroit's turnaround, lower unemployment, and 300,000 new private sector jobs as evidence that the Northwood University study is accurate. In the annual economic competitiveness survey, Michigan has climbed from 47th in 2012, to 39th in 2013, and up to 30th this year.

Studley points to tax reforms, highlighted by voters approving the phase out of the personal property tax, as an important factor in making the state more attractive to businesses. He is also excited about Regulatory changes. "Over the past two or three years the governor and legislative leaders have rolled back over 1,000 obsolete rules and regulations, and so we can protect the environment but promote economic development by streamlining and improving the regulatory process," Studley says.

Areas where the study finds Michigan lagging behind other states include the cost of labor and the need for more talented workers. Studley says the Michigan Chamber of Commerce may enter the public policy debate over education with a sharp focus on workplace development and college readiness.

He will discuss the study at the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch Tuesday.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.      

Like many, I first came to this area when I started school at the University of Michigan, then fell in love with the community and haven’t left. After graduating from U of M in the mid 1990’s I interned at WDET for several years, while also working a variety of jobs in Ann Arbor. Then in 1999 I joined the WEMU news team.
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