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: Republican Kevin Rinke’s hot rod gubernatorial campaign may not have the juice
By: Rick Haglund - December 5, 2021
Kevin Rinke has grabbed my attention like none of the other 11 Republican candidates seeking the governor’s office next year. It’s not because of his qualifications, which I have not been able to discern. And it’s not because of his policy positions, which are pretty much the same culture-war talking points and manufactured issues his […]
Rick Haglund: When in-demand talent can work from anywhere, what will happen to Michigan?
By: Rick Haglund - November 19, 2021
Alarmed that Michigan was losing too many young college graduates to Chicago, New York, San Francisco and other talent magnets, then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm decided to try a new approach to economic development in the early 2000s. She took notice of the radical notion, presented in urbanist Richard Florida’s groundbreaking 2002 book, “The Rise of the […]
Rick Haglund: After Ford’s investment in Tenn., here’s how Michigan can attract new auto jobs
By: Rick Haglund - November 1, 2021
Local economic developers, business leaders and some state lawmakers are freaking out over plans by home team player Ford Motor Co. to make the biggest manufacturing investments in its history in Kentucky and Tennessee. Unless you’ve been locked inside a Tesla with a dead battery for the past month, you’re no doubt aware that Ford […]
Rick Haglund: Biden says clean energy will create union jobs. But companies may have other ideas.
By: Rick Haglund - October 10, 2021
During a visit to a union training center in Howell on Tuesday, President Joe Biden touted his ambitious vision for a clean energy future. Biden is pushing for multi-trillion dollar government investments in, among many other things, a massive shift from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles. “I want those jobs here in Michigan, not halfway […]
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 […]