New report names Michigan most improved state for pro-business environment

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The American Economic Development Institute and Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. today named Michigan the Most Improved State for 2014 in their annual Top 10 Pro-Business States report.

LANSING – The American Economic Development Institute and Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. today named Michigan the Most Improved State for 2014 in their annual Top 10 Pro-Business States report. Overall, Michigan ranked no. 3 among the nation’s top 10 most populous states and no. 2 among the eight Great Lakes states.

“Once again, the nation is taking notice of the bold reforms now driving Michigan forward,” said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Michigan’s improved ranking near the very top of the most populous states, and among Great Lakes states, underscores Michigan’s tremendous workforce capabilities and our numerous business climate improvements. This means more and better jobs for Michigan families.” 

The state’s improved rank pushed it ahead of other top population, including Georgia (ranked 22), Ohio (23, Texas (27), New York (30), Pennsylvania (39), Illinois (49) and California (50). Only N. Carolina and Florida finished ahead of Michigan at no. 11 and 15, respectively.

Michigan advanced 21 spots in this year’s Pro-Business States report, up to no. 18 from no. 39 in 2012. In its announcement, AEDI/Pollina Corporate said, “Certainly, two of the state’s boldest moves were to pass Right to Work legislation and repeal of the maligned MBT business tax” as key factors in improving the state’s business climate.

“Our many reforms over the last four years have meant measurable improvements for Michigan companies,” Finney said. ”We hear regularly that these changes are changing how Michigan is viewed by business leaders and corporate site location specialists. Doors that were previously closed to us are opening now and with that comes opportunities for business investment and new, good paying jobs.” 

The state’s many pro-business changes have resulted in other noteworthy improvements, including:

  • No. 1 for states that recovered most from the Great Recession, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
  • For two years in a row, ranked among the top five states for major new corporate facilities and expansions by Site Selection Magazine.
  • Second most business-friendly among the nation’s 10 largest states, according to the Tax Foundation.
  • Between 2009 and 2014, climbed 15 spots on CNBC’s Top States for Business.
  • First in the nation for high tech job growth from 2011-2013. 
  • Michigan’s venture capital community is outpacing the national trend, with 23 venture capital firms that manage $1.6 billion in capital.
  • Michigan’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in six years.
  • Balanced budget four years in a row.

The Pollina Corporate annual 50-state ranking indicates how well each state has or has not positioned itself to retain and create jobs as well as sustain America’s middle class. Now in its 11th edition, the study has also become an important tool for corporations to evaluate their current and future U.S. locations.

“Michigan’s Most Improved State status reflects state political leadership that has come to grips with 21st Century international competition for jobs and business investment. The rapid improvement of this state in the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States ranking reflects solid economic development planning and implementation along with consistent legislative political support,” said Brent Pollina, vice president of Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. and co-author of the study. “It is important to give this state recognition for its extraordinary and consistent efforts.”

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.