6 facts about Flint and Genesee County's economy that you should know (but probably don't)

1. New jobs: 7,463 new private sector jobs were created since December 2011.

2. Average earnings: 7 percent growth in new jobs with average, annual earnings of $51,780

3. Income: Overall total wage growth in Flint & Genesee increased by 24.8 percent from 2010-2015 

4. Real estate: Home prices rose by 3.26 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

5. Tourism: local tourism generated over $131 million in economic impact.

6. Top employment industries in 2016: Health care, retail, accommodations and food services, and manufacturing, respectively (excluding government).
Source: Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Let’s face it: Feeling like things are getting better just isn’t good enough.

Feeling it isn’t good enough. Wanting it isn’t good enough. The only thing good enough for Flint is real progress. Real jobs. Real improvement. Of course, better does not equal done. However, these measures—presented as part of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce meeting Thursday, March 23—do give a snapshot into some key economic indicators. 

“This data represents clear signs that there is forward momentum in our region. Our local economy is getting stronger,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. 

The Chamber also highlighted its work of the past year—$503 million in business and government investment as part of ongoing economic development work. In all, 21 investment projects generated $127 million in estimated payroll, according to the chamber. 

There is still work to be done, Herman noted. One key area is around unemployment, where the city of Flint’s rate remains higher than the state average. 

However, progress also has been made there: In 2010, unemployment in the city of Flint was at 23.4 percent and 14 percent in Genesee County. As of December 2016, it was 8.9 percent in Flint and 5 percent in Genesee County.

The state unemployment rate is about 5 percent. 

“When you look at the numbers – not only in 2016 – but, over the past five years, it’s clear that Flint-area businesses are growing, expanding their workforce and painting a clear picture that the region is moving forward,” Herman said.

And, he also added this little nugget: “There are more great projects coming. We just can’t say what they are yet.” 

Hmmm. Stay tuned.

Read more articles by Marjory Raymer.

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