©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Report Reveals Michigan's Competitive Edge

Monday, May 06, 2002

Jennifer Kopp
(517) 335-4590

Benchmarking Study Compares Michigan With Other States

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Business Roundtable today released a benchmarking study that provides insight into the factors that have made Michigan a powerhouse for attracting businesses and jobs to the state.

“This report shows why Michigan is a force to be reckoned with in terms of attracting businesses, expansions and jobs,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “By taking the steps necessary to make Michigan a business-friendly state, we have earned a reputation for being one of the nation’s leading players in the field of economic development.”

The benchmarking study, conducted by Stanford Research Institute International, showed that Michigan ranks 2nd among Midwest/northern states and 9th in terms of overall competitiveness.This includes seven basic factors: innovation resources, human investment, globalization and vitality, business costs, quality of life, financial resources and infrastructure.

Michigan’s highest scores came in the areas of quality of life, globalization and business vitality and innovation resources.

“We have been benchmarking ourselves against the competition since 1993,” Rothwell said.“This regular monitoring has lead to cutting edge initiatives such as Renaissance Zones, SmartZones and the LinkMichigan initiative that have helped us stay ahead in the competitive game of economic development.”

Over the past ten years, Michigan’s advantages over states like North Carolina, Texas, Maryland and California have grown significantly for a variety of reasons.In addition to groundbreaking innovations like the creation of the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor, the report pointed to worker productivity and research and development investment as contributors to Michigan’s increased competitiveness.

“Michigan has demonstrated that it can be a competitive force with states throughout the nation,” said Anthony F.Earley Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of DTE Energy and chairman of the Michigan Business Roundtable.“Yet, as Michigan businesses strive every day to remain competitive, so should our state.This study offers an opportunity to take an objective look at our strengths and weaknesses.”

The study revealed that that high business costs continue to be Michigan’s greatest competitive weakness, ranking 42nd of all 50 states, due largely to the Single Business Tax and high health care costs.

“While we have significantly reduced business costs in the past ten years, it is clear that must continue to be a high priority in the future,” Rothwell said. “And that is the value of this study – it helps everyone see what our strengths and weaknesses are. From there we can make the changes needed to keep Michigan ahead of the competition for attracting companies and good-paying jobs.”

Leaders from across the state are evaluating the benchmarking report at today’s Michigan Competitiveness Conference in Lansing. They will use the report to create prioritized action plans for further enhancing Michigan’s competitive edge. After the plans are finalized, they will be submitted to the next Governor and Legislature as a blueprint for action.

A copy of the study, “Benchmarks for the Next Michigan,” is available on-line in PDF file format. To view this study now CLICK HERE.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.