If you watched the presidential election, you might have noticed something - Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump talking about jobs fleeing the Great Lakes State. He said during the debate with Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton Monday, "Thousands of jobs, leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio, they're all leaving."
Governor Rick Snyder decided not to endorse Trump, and said in August that the Michigan Trump describes doesn't exist.
"No, factually that's not accurate. Michigan's number-one in the creation of manufacturing jobs over the last few years," Snyder said. "We've got a thriving manufacturing sector, and I'm proud of it. I think you're seeing manufacturing re-consolidate and come back to Michigan, and we build many of the leading products in the world right here in this state."
Now, new Census Bureau data confirms Michigan's economy is on the rise. Median household income grew by 2.4-percent and the poverty rate fell by .4-percent. In Jackson, the change is even more dramatic. Median household income rose 11.8-percent there.
"It's been a slowly improving curve and our hope is that it keeps going that way," Tim Rogers, who is the President and CEO of The Enterprise Group of Jackson, a company that helps bring business to Jackson and grow it there.
"Somehow we got stuck in that conversation," Rogers said of people making Michigan's economic outlook out to be grim. "Michigan gets looked at because we are known for a manufacturing state."
But, he says, manufacturing is growing here.
"When you look at some of the largest manufacturers in the state, the reinvestment they've done is tremendous and has caused a lot of that growth and new technology to happen here in Michigan," Rogers said.
Driver-less cars and I.T. will continue to bring growth opportunities to the state, Rogers said, the real challenge will be convincing people to come to Michigan to fill the open jobs, and getting the people who are here the training to take on the skilled manufacturing positions that are open.