Slideshow: Worst counties for wages (September 2014)

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Jim Hendricks
Tue, 05/12/2015 - 8:37pm
Not too surprising considering these are among the most rural and economically depressed counties in the state. It would be helpful if we had a comparison of the ratio of wages to housing costs in Michigan counties. These counties might show a little better quality of life than raw wages imply.
Wed, 05/13/2015 - 9:27am
The poverty in northern Michigan is not hard to see, driving M-68 is kind of depressing with some run down looking small towns with many people living in mobile homes.
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 8:53pm
It's kind of a trade off. Living in a low population northern county is wonderful. I lived up north for years and loved it. The beauty that you see everyday is breathtaking, and the people are the nicest you could hope to meet. But there are no jobs. There is just no way in many northern counties to make a living.
Sun, 05/17/2015 - 7:01am
Having many relatives up in the Keweenaw area, I know many have left there for places like Green Bay, WI in hopes of finding work. I agree in that living up there is definitely living in "God's Country". It is way less stressed, water is clear and fun to swim in, people are just friendlier. If I could , I'd move me and my family up there in a heartbeat!
Tue, 05/19/2015 - 6:18am
I agree, it would be helpful to have a comparison of wages to housing costs/living expenses. I recently moved to a larger city, making nearly double what I made up north, and have less to live on after expenses. Life is physically harder in a couple of the referred to counties, but much less stressful overall. The people, in general, are happier, friendlier, more involved with their communities, and respectful of each other. Yes, you see run down houses and trailers, but you see the same in any town/city. I think when doing these studies they should compare apples to apples.
Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:48pm
All the information to answer any questions about roscommon county can be found at As far as owner occupied homes in rosco county they have a median income of 38058 per yr and avg housing cost is 586.00, and people who rent have a median income of 18390 with housing cost of 655.00 per month. Go check out the website it has a lot of info about every county/Burroughs across the nation. Also stated median income for our county is 33,334 per year that works out to about 641 a week.
Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:58am
It doesn't help area wages, when they allow guest workers from South America to work on Mackinac Island for slave labor after all their housing expenses.....
Barbara Mazur
Wed, 10/21/2015 - 9:07am
No matter how bad Michigan economy in these counties may be, traveling through rural South Carolina is a heartbreaking sadness. That is truly like a trip in a third world country. Rickety paint peeled shacks and rusted battered decades old trailers everywhere you look.
Gary Webber
Thu, 04/28/2016 - 2:43pm
True ! Just recently drove to Arkansas and back. What a depressing ride that was !
Stacie Jolley
Thu, 11/12/2015 - 1:35pm
Shiawassee County should be on this list. Without a doubt.
David May
Fri, 11/13/2015 - 9:03pm
Indeed the average wages I saw were dismal. Any family living on those amounts makes me wonder how theymanage to make ends meet. When one considers the many taxes our Michigan legislators have recently handed down to the residents of those areas compounded by what they already paid is unbelievable. I saw my home area, Benzie County, listed with dismal average wages. In order to provide adequately for my family and still live there I had to live my life at sea at least 8 months annually on ship. I did so willingly looking for day when I can enjoy fruits of my labor with better than average social security and aa defined pension. Our leaders have decided the state is entitled to a piece of my pension I earned too. I have planned carefully for my retirement but worry how I may be gouged for being prosporous.
Sun, 11/15/2015 - 12:54pm
Mackinac County is no surprise. From May to September, it's bustling with tourist dollars and seasonal employment. But the rest of the year, it has one of the highest unemployment rates. Most of the U.P. doesn't even have a tourist boom, just little boomlets in the summer and an even smaller one in winter. It's the day-to-day survival that's tough. No wonder the biggest export is our young people. Also, we're seeing a polarization of the haves and the have nots, and the gap is getting wider.
Sun, 11/29/2015 - 9:56pm
mike walters
Fri, 05/06/2016 - 7:40am
Not surprised at all. I'm in those counties quite a bit. They're poor, and compared to poor areas in urban areas, they're nearly invisible and thus off nearly everyone's radar..
Mon, 05/09/2016 - 12:47pm
I love your reporting but please don't make me wade through a slideshow to get the information. Even a chart on the lead page with additional info on each county would work. Having slideshows like this shows that content providers (i.e. journalists, sometimes) don't care about their readers. frustrating.
Tue, 05/10/2016 - 6:33pm
Mackinac county should absolutely not be on here - I mean I understand why it is - but those rich, republican, slave driving bitc@&$ who own the island should retire a private jet or two and actually pay the people who keep them in the lifestyle they're accustomed ban living wage - yeah - I'm talking about you - the entire Ryba's family including the douchebags that married in.
Pete Vunovich
Sat, 05/28/2016 - 7:04pm
The UP should split from the the rest of Michigan, have their own government, own governor, own legislator, and their own court system and schools. They can keep their federal and state dollars and focus on getting jobs and quality of life issues.