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New Report Finds Lansing's Regional Economy Needs To Improve In Four Areas

Lansing skyline
WKAR File Photo

A new report analyzing more than 40 different aspects of the Lansing region's economy has found four main areas for improvement.

They include population growth, educational attainment, private sector growth and affordability.

The report, titled, the "State of the Lansing Region Benchmarking Report," was conducted by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and several local stakeholders.

The analysis was conducted in the fall of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

The findings include data from the years 2014-18 and found the following, which the report lists as areas of opportunity. You can read more about the areas of strength here.

  • The Lansing region’s share of residents 25 and older with an associate’s (or higher) degree is below average. 
  • Total population in the Lansing region has barely grown in the last five years. 
  • The Lansing region has seen no significant business creation in the last five years.
  • The Lansing region has a relatively low share of employment in information technology, advanced manufacturing, and research and development

The report shows Lansing is not as good at attracting and retaining young professionals when compared to similar cities.
The cities, referred to as "peer cities" in the study, include those with similar characteristics to the Lansing area, including presence of a Big Ten university, along with comparable geographic, cultural and economical factors.

But Tim Daman, CEO of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce, says the number of highly trained young people leaving the area is not a concern.

“This is not a crisis. We're not losing and we’re not hemorrhaging young professionals and people leaving our region.” 

Daman says Michigan State University and nearby colleges contribute to the number of young professionals in the area.

The study will be used to set goals for creating more economic opportunities in the region.

Megan Schellong hosted and produced Morning Edition on WKAR from 2021 to 2024.
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