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: U.S. automakers want help from ‘car guy’ Biden on electric vehicles push

By: - November 14, 2020

Corporations and industry groups congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on winning the White House, as is their custom during transitions of power. But General Motors went a step beyond the typical platitudes and niceties by telling Biden exactly what it’s seeking from Washington: “We look forward to working with the new administration and incoming Congress on […]


Rick Haglund: Illinois may raise taxes on the rich. Michigan could be next. 

By: - October 31, 2020

Tuesday’s election is largely a referendum on the record and character of President Donald Trump. But Illinois voters are also deciding a proposed and highly contentious constitutional amendment that portends a similar battle in Michigan. The so-called “fair tax” proposal on the Illinois ballot would shift the state from a fixed-rate income tax, in which […]


Rick Haglund: Michigan’s economy could take a beating after ruling against Whitmer’s COVID-19 orders

By: - October 13, 2020

Now that the state Supreme Court has struck down a 1945 law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer repeatedly used to issue executive orders in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus, where is Michigan’s economy headed? Some might argue that the state’s economy, which has regained 593,100 jobs since April’s employment collapse, could boom as businesses […]

Rick Haglund: Tackling climate change is the smart move for local governments, businesses

By: - September 26, 2020

Brandy Brown faced skepticism about climate change from the day she accepted her job as the head of the Michigan Office of Climate and Energy. “Brandy, that climate change stuff isn’t real,” Brown said a longtime friend told her when she was appointed to lead the office last year. Her friend’s denial of climate change […]


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 […]