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The economies of Michigan: Midland

By the numbers

$3.9 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 Midland County,
has nearly 84,000 people,
ranking 369th in population.)

The Business Buzz

This region's GDP remained flat in 2013, compared to 2012, and it was the only one of the 14 regions in Michigan not to see an increase.. Government shrank by 2.7 percent and remains 12.5 percent below its pre-recession total of 2007.

Manufacturing, which represents 30 percent of the region's GDP, was up by 1 percent. Professional and business services were flat as well, gaining 0 percent while educational services, health care and social services were up by nearly 5 percent.

Scott Walker, CEO of Midland Tomorrow, the economic development agency for Midland County, pointed out that the region’s economy may be rooted in manufacturing, but it is chemical manufacturing, an industry dominated by Fortune 500 companies Dow Corning and Dow Chemical, which together employ 4,000 people.

“Midland has always been decoupled from the Michigan economy almost entirely. We are not an automotive-based economy,” he said. “We do know that large corporations experienced a little decline based on the global economy. What you are seeing is that play out.”

Top 10 industries: Economy reliant on stagnant sector

Midland’s regional economy leans heavily on manufacturing, with 30 percent of the local economy in the sector. No other industry appears poised to pick up slack.

Sector 2013 GDP
(in $ millions)
Percent of economy Peak year Change (2013)
from peak
Change from 2007 Change from 2012
Manufacturing $1,197 30.5% 2002 -39% -25.5% 1%
Professional and business services $907 23.1% 2011 -8.4% 5% 0%
Educational services, health care, and social assistance $374 9.5% 2009 -0.3% 8% 4.8%
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing $342 8.7% 2010 -1.2% 35.3% 2.6%
Government $269 6.9% 2005 -16% -14.3% -2.7%
Retail trade $204 5.2% 2009 -8.6% -2.1% 0.5%
Construction $174 4.4% 2001 -34.8% -36.4% 0%
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services $105 2.7% 2013 0% 12% 1%
Other services, except government $88 2.2% 2008 -2.4% 7.5% 1.3%
Wholesale trade $67 1.7% 2006 -43.4% -43.3% 1.7%

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

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