A new study showed personal income in Michigan is growing at one of the fastest rates in the nation.
The report by 24/7 Wall Street showed that from 2008-2018 personal income per capita increased to nearly $44,000 per year, up 16.3 percent over the last decade when accounting for inflation, which is the tenth highest rate in the nation.
“Needless to say, people have more money to spend,” Grand Valley State University Director of Supply Management Research Brian Long said.
He said rising incomes is good news for the state because people who make more usually spend more and it injects money into the economy.
“Consumer spending of course is what drives our economy,” Long said.
But even with higher incomes across the state, millions of Michiganders are struggling.
A study by United Way found 43 percent of Michigan households can’t afford basic necessities.
One reason cited in the study is educational attainment in the state falls well below the national average.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows about 29 percent of Michiganders have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Nationwide, that number is about 35 percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than three quarters of good-paying jobs in Michigan, which pay more than $61,110 per year, require at least a bachelor’s degree.
“We have 80,000 jobs in this state that we can’t fill right now because we can’t find people qualified to fill those jobs,” Long said.
He also said if college isn’t for you, there are open jobs in the skilled trades with not enough people to fill them.
Politicians in Michigan are looking to close that gap between the skills workers have and skills employers want. Governor Gretchen Whitmer set a goal aiming for 60 percent of Michiganders to have post-secondary education, whether it be college or professional certification, by 2030.