Posted by: Brian Powers | February 4, 2009

Macomb County 2009 Economic Forecast

Today I attended the Macomb County 2009 Economic Forecast hosted by the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce. Jim Jacobs, President of Macomb Community College and local economic expert was the featured speaker.  Jacobs detailed what he feels will be another painful year for our local economy here in 2009.

Quite simply Jacobs has forecasted a prolonged recession in Michigan and Macomb County in 2009.  He believes the prolongment will be attributable to both the national economic recession we are currently experiencing, as well as continued struggles by our domestic automobile manufacturers.

In our state of Michigan, Jacobs posted a sobering graph depicting the state at the bottom, or near-bottom of 5 major economic indicators:

  • 50th in Unemployment Rate
  • 44th in Migration from the State
  • 44th in Employment Growth
  • 5th in Real Estate Foreclosures
  • 2nd in Percent Population Loss

It goes without saying that a lot of our local economic woes are Automobile Industry related.  Jacobs presented a very poignant graph showing just how bad it has been:

  • Domestic Automotive OEM market share continues to fall, now less than 47%
  • Domestic Automotive OEM’s have lost a combined $65 billion since 2002
  • Since May 2005, Domestic OEM’s have shed 132,000 jobs from 64 plants

Jacobs also stated that with the number of jobs lost in Macomb County in 2008, the county now has its lowest number of manufacturing jobs since 1982, with more expected losses in 2009.

Some major developments over the past year that will help pave the road to economic recovery in Macomb County:

  • “Smart-Zone” development in Sterling Heights bring much-needed diversification to the local manufacturing base with the addition of Defense/Homeland Security based jobs at companies like BAE Systems and General Dynamics
  • Planned development of a Convention Center at M-59 / I-94
  • New ties between the County and major corporations

Jacobs highlighted what he feels are the strengths of Macomb County that will help lead us out of the current climate of recession:

  • A growing population of families attracted to living in the county.  In spite of all that is currently happening, Macomb County continues to see a net gain in the number of residents migrating from neighboring Oakland and Wayne counties
  • A substantial technical skill base  for advanced manufacturing
  • A potential for green construction technologies for both residential and commercial property
  • Access to a significant, valuable resource — Water

Going forward, Jacobs feels diversifying the local manufacturing base, especially into high-tech defense related industries, is critical. He also feels that water is going to be one of the hottest commodities of the future and that puts Macomb County in a unique position to reap the benefits.  Specifically with regards to water, Jacobs feels we will see an increase in demand caused by:

  • Expanding agricultural production
  • The importance of water in bio-fuel production
  • Climate changes

Jacobs forecast for Macomb County in 2009 is as follows:

  • No economic recovery in 2009.  Unemployment in the county is currently near 10%, and is expected to reach 12% by year end.
  • Continued growth in unemployment, low or negative inflation, and little or no gains in the stock market.
  • The year 2010 will see the US come out of the recession nationally. However, Michigan will wait until 2011-2012 to come out of recession

If you have any questions/comments feel free to use the comment feature below. Or to contact me directly click on the ‘About’ tab at the top of this blog.

Your Agent Matters,

Brian Powers



  1. I hope Jacobs is right ….. I don’t see us coming out of this recession locally until some industry comes in and replaces all the auto jobs lost. I think his recovery timetable of 2011 or 2012 is VERY optimistic, bordering on absurdity …..

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