Rick Haglund

Rick Haglund

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: Blacks have lost ground in Michigan — and it’s dragging down the economy

By: - September 12, 2020

In his long career as a University of Michigan labor economist, Don Grimes never focused his research on race-based income inequality. “I’ve always believed in the power of markets,” Grimes told me.  “I figured the markets would sort this out.”  But a new study he, and U of M colleagues Gabriel Ehrlich and Michael McWilliams […]


Rick Haglund: Why does Michigan still lag in the race to attract and keep talent?

By: - August 22, 2020

Local officials cheered Amazon’s recent announcement that it would build a $400 million distribution center, promising 1,200 jobs at the long-vacant Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit.  “We need good-paying jobs and jobs of the future,” Mayor Mike Duggan said about the positions, which are expected to pay about $15 an hour, plus benefits. State Sen. […]


Rick Haglund: Brophy is ‘fairly bullish’ on tech, life sciences in Michigan

By: - June 27, 2020

David Brophy, a University of Michigan finance professor, remembers getting the call from then-Gov. William Milliken in the late 1970s as Michigan was heading into a deep economic recession. Detroit’s automakers were struggling to compete with nimble Japanese rivals that were building small, fuel-efficient cars consumers demanded during an era of high gasoline prices.  Iconic […]


Rick Haglund: An economic tsunami is hitting Michigan — and it will reshape work forever

By: - June 10, 2020

As businesses slowly reopen and workers return to jobs, President Donald Trump is predicting the economy will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever. “We’ve been talking about the ‘V.’ This is better than a ‘V,’ ” Trump said last week about the potential for a quick, V-shaped recovery. “This is a rocket ship.” […]


Rick Haglund: Business owners, groups take different approaches on COVID-19 closures, reopenings

By: - May 23, 2020

Normally, the Bluebird Restaurant & Tavern in Leland would be serving hundreds of tourists and summer residents returning to this lovely lakefront town northwest of Traverse City on Memorial Day weekend, as it has since 1927. But the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping the popular restaurant closed this weekend, except for takeout whitefish dinners, pizza and […]


Rick Haglund: Automakers face huge losses, hit pause on electric vehicles

By: - May 2, 2020

Way back in January 2020 B.C. (Before Coronavirus), automakers were enjoying healthy sales and working feverishly to transform themselves into major producers of electric and self-driving vehicles. “It seems like three months ago, I couldn’t go to an external presentation that wasn’t focused on electrification,” said Joe Zaciek, research and industry analysis manager at the […]


Rick Haglund: Want to stop long-term economic damage from COVID-19? Beef up federal spending.

By: - April 19, 2020

More than 1 million Michigan workers — about 20% of the state’s labor force — have filed for unemployment in the past month as public health restrictions enacted to end the coronavirus pandemic have brought the state’s economy to a virtual standstill. Forget about the Great Recession, when the state’s jobless rate topped out at […]


Rick Haglund: COVID-19 shows how our economy depends on low-wage workers — and how they’re hit hardest

By: - April 4, 2020

As Michigan clawed back from the ravages of the Great Recession, in no small part due to the President Obama administration’s 2009 bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, other elected officials grabbed the credit. Former Gov. Rick Snyder regularly touted Michigan as “the comeback state,” citing his deft management of the state budget, business tax […]


Rick Haglund: Big 3 automakers could enlist to produce COVID-19 medical equipment

By: - March 20, 2020

Detroit became known as “the arsenal of democracy” almost 80 years ago as automakers transitioned from civilian to military production, a crucial element in the Allies’ victory over Germany and Japan in World War II. As the deadly coronavirus grips the nation, could Michigan become “the arsenal of health,” helping to defeat a virus that […]

Rick Haglund: GM jolts business model with electric vehicles bet

By: - March 8, 2020

Despite decades of decline, General Motors Co. still delivers a spark to Michigan’s economy. A new study by the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research (CAR) found that GM’s 46,800 jobs in the state have led to an additional 153,800 jobs here, creating a job multiplier effect largely unmatched by nonautomotive businesses.  Workers at GM’s […]


Rick Haglund: How can Michigan become a top 10 state? It may not be what you think.

By: - February 22, 2020

Hey, average Michigan worker: How would you like to be making $13,000 a year more than you earn now? You would if Michigan was performing at the average level of the top 10 states in key job, productivity, personal income and population indicators. Unfortunately, we’re not even close. And we’re falling behind in most of […]


Rick Haglund: Amazon shows how the the tax break system is gamed

By: - February 8, 2020

Just how outrageous has the tax incentives game become? Consider: Amazon chief Jeff Bezos reportedly was so jealous of the $2.4 billion in incentives that Tesla chief Elon Musk had extracted from state and local governments that he pushed his team to top that number for the company’s planned second headquarters. State and local governments […]