Rick Haglund writes the "Micheconomy" column for the Michigan Advance. He's a former reporter and business columnist for Booth Newspapers, now the MLive Media Group, with extensive experience covering Michigan’s economy and the auto industry. He now works as a freelance writer based in Southeast Michigan.
Rick Haglund: While Republicans blast Biden’s vaccine mandate, some companies are embracing it
By: Rick Haglund - September 27, 2021
Patrick O’Keefe is a Bloomfield Hills business consultant who’s recognized as an expert in “strategic advisory services,” according to a lengthy biography on his company’s website. But he offered some lousy counsel recently in his role as a Michigan State University trustee. O’Keefe, a Republican who was elected to the MSU board last November, spoke […]
Rick Haglund: Census shows Michigan is still losing the race to attract young talent
By: Rick Haglund - August 30, 2021
Alarm bells should be ringing in the heads of state policymakers over Michigan’s latest census figures. Why, you ask? At first glance, the numbers look pretty good. The 2020 census, released earlier this month, shows Michigan has 10,077,331 residents. That’s the first time the state has cracked the 10 million mark since 2008. Many of […]
Rick Haglund: Can Michigan grow its ‘blue economy’ while facing fallout from climate change?
By: Rick Haglund - August 2, 2021
A 2015 study exploring Michigan’s “blue economy” forecast a prosperous future in which Michigan’s enormous water resources would serve as the catalyst for thousands of high-paying new jobs as the state becomes the world’s “freshwater innovation capital.” “One hundred years after launching the industrial revolution, we look to a new green-blue revolution consisting of sustainable […]
Rick Haglund: Michigan continues to underinvest in higher education, in good times and bad
By: Rick Haglund - July 20, 2021
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a record $17.1 billion K-12 spending bill that eliminates a nearly 30-year-long basic state funding gap between school districts and gives educators the resources they say they need to improve student performance. But at a time when most new jobs paying a living wage require a certificate or degree […]
Rick Haglund: How COVID-19 was a ‘giant sledgehammer’ to the labor market
By: Rick Haglund - June 29, 2021
Twenty-six states, all run by Republican governors, are trying to force workers laid off in the devastating COVID-19 pandemic back to work by cutting off the $300 per week in enhanced federal jobless benefits they’ve been receiving. Pushed by employers who contend the extra cash makes it more lucrative for workers to stay home than […]
Rick Haglund: Absence of viable regional transportation continues to hurt SE Michigan
By: Rick Haglund - June 10, 2021
I recently traveled to an appointment in Dearborn, about 20 miles from my home in Oakland County. Good thing I own a car. The trip took about 30 minutes. But traveling to my destination and back home by bus would have required a mile-long walk to the nearest bus stop, multiple bus transfers and gobbled […]
Rick Haglund: COVID relief cash could help Michigan stop ‘treading water’
By: Rick Haglund - May 23, 2021
Michigan’s economic development strategy over the past 50 years mostly has focused on cutting business taxes and offering companies a variety of financial incentives to expand or locate here. It hasn’t worked. Forty years ago, Michigan was in the top third of states in per-capita income and slightly above overall U.S. income. Today we’re in […]
Rick Haglund: Can woke capitalism and big business coexist?
By: Rick Haglund - May 3, 2021
Seven years ago, I wrote a column that carried this headline: “Democrats and big business, you have more in common than you think.” At the time, major Michigan corporations were better aligned with state Democratic lawmakers on a number of issues than they were with Republicans who controlled every branch of state government. Those issues […]
Column: Right to Work has failed to live up to conservative hype
By: Rick Haglund - April 13, 2021
Nearly a decade ago — Dec. 11, 2012, to be exact — then-Gov. Rick Snyder landed a savage right hook to Michigan’s vaunted labor movement when he signed contentious Right to Work legislation. Hours before Snyder signed bills that outlawed requiring workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment, 12,000 pro-union demonstrators descended […]
Rick Haglund: Can Biden help reignite the labor movement?
By: Rick Haglund - March 27, 2021
President Joe Biden has promised to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” And Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber couldn’t be happier. Bieber said he was stunned by a remarkable White House YouTube video in which Biden, without naming the company, strongly warned giant online retailer Amazon not to interfere with a union organizing […]
Rick Haglund: Offices may open again soon, but work will never be the same
By: Rick Haglund - March 13, 2021
A coalition of powerful business lobbying groups is pushing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow offices to reopen, citing a variety of harms to workers, employers and communities from people doing their jobs at dining room tables during the pandemic. They’re likely to get their wish soon. Whitmer said Monday she hopes to allow workers to […]
Rick Haglund: Companies recognize the value of diversity. Chatfield found that out the hard way.
By: Rick Haglund - February 27, 2021
Lee Chatfield did more to advance the cause of diversity, inclusion and equity in Michigan workplaces in the past two weeks than he did in six years as a state lawmaker. Chatfield resigned Monday as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, a Kalamazoo-based economic development agency, as controversy raged over his anti-LGBTQ record. The former GOP […]