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The economies of Michigan: Bay City

By the numbers

$3.2 billion

Size of local economy, 2013


Percent economic growth, 2012-2013.


Rank, among 14 metropolitan
regions in Michigan, in terms
of one-year growth


Rank, among 382 metropolitan
regions in country, in terms of one-year change in GDP


Rank, among 14 Michigan regions,
in overall economic size


Rank nationally, in terms of economic size.
(The region, comprised of Bay County, has nearly 107,000 people,
ranking 342nd in population.)

The Business Buzz

This region posted solid numbers for overall GDP growth at 2.3 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, above the state average of 2 percent. It was one of five regions in the state to reach pre-recession output of 2007.

The professional, scientific and technical service sector saw a 10 percent increase and education services, up 3.1 percent in 2013, stands more than 17 percent above pre-recession levels at $404 million. Manufacturing lost 4 percent in 2013, mostly in durable goods and is 19.2 percent below the region’s peak year of 2003. It remains the single largest economic sector, but at 15 percent of GDP represents a smaller share than other regions of the state.

“The region is stable and poised for growth. Whether manufacturing is up 4 percent or down 4 percent, we are going to continue to work for manufacturers knowing they are the lifeblood of an economy,” said Trevor Keyes, acting interim president and CEO of Bay Future Inc., a public-private economic development organization.

Keyes said Consumers Energy is upgrading its coal plant, a $250 million upgrade.

“I am very positive about Uptown Bay City. It's a total redevelopment that is going to change the face of our community for the better.”

Top 10 industries: Education boosts economy

As manufacturing declines in region, other parts of local economy have seen solid growth, broadening Bay City’s economic prospects

Sector 2013 GDP
(in $ millions)
Percent of economy Peak year Change (2013)
from peak
Change from 2007 Change from 2012
Manufacturing $485 15% 2003 -19.2% -11.1% -4%
Government $455 14.1% 2001 -15.6% -5.9% -3%
Educational services, health care, and social assistance $432 13.4% 2013 0% 14.9% 3.1%
Professional and business services $342 10.6% 2013 0% 12.9% 8.6%
Retail trade $284 8.8% 2003 -22.3% -7.8% -3.9%
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing $266 8.2% 2002 -24% -10% -1.2%
Utilities $194 6% 2013 0% n/a n/a
Wholesale trade $168 5.2% 2013 0% 7.3% 24.8%
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services $151 4.7% 2011 -4% -0.7% -1.4%
Other services, except government $99 3.1% 2008 -22.6% -25.8% 6%

Although it's not an "industry" by federal definition, government services were included in the list.

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