The Networks Northwest Dashboard

Developed under the direction of the Networks Northwest Board with the input of many Northwest Michigan citizens.

Tracked Metrics Data

Gross Regional Product (GRP), is defined as the market value of all goods and services produced within a region over the specified time period. It is a good measure of the size and productivity of a regional economy. EMSI Analyst provides GRP estimates at the county level starting in 2012. GRP data from Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties are added together to arrive at the GRP for Northwest Michigan. GRP for 2011 was obtained from the MEDC Region 2 Economy Overview with data sourced from EMSI.

Population Mix highlights Millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000), as they are the largest generational demographic group in history with a half to two-thirds interested in entrepreneurship (US Chamber of Commerce). In economically high performing regions such as Boulder County, Colorado (Milkin Institute) and Washtenaw County, Michigan, Millennials account for 32% to 35% of the population. Of added significance for shaping the economic future of Northwest Michigan, Millennials have invested in human capital more than previous generations of young adults with 47% of 25 to 34 year-olds in 2013 receiving a postsecondary degree (The Council of Economic Advisers). The Bridged-Race Population Estimates produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) was used together with demographic group delineations to calculated changes in the demographic group populations for Northwest Michigan.

The Census Bureau defines Per Capita Income as the mean money income received in the past 12 months computed for every man, woman, and child in a geographic area. It is derived by dividing the total income of all people 15 years old and over in a geographic area by the total population in that area. American Community Survey (ACS) data for Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties was summed for Northwest Michigan. Inflation adjusted Per Capita Income in 2015 dollars is provided to compare changes in purchasing power associated to the historical Per Capita Income data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index was used for calculating the inflation adjustment.

When Northwest Michigan’s workers are unemployed, their families lose wages and the region loses the goods or services that could have been produced. The loss of purchasing power for those newly unemployed can lead to the unemployment of additional workers providing goods and services in the region. People are considered employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey reference week. This includes all part-time and temporary work, as well as regular full-time, year-round employment. People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was used for labor force and unemployed annual averages for Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for individuals who attained an Associates degree or higher is from between 5.4% to 2.2% in 2013, significantly lower than the national unemployment rate for all workers of 6.1%. This compares to the unemployment rate for those having less than a high school diploma to those with some college, but no degree of 11.0% to 7.0%. National data also demonstrates a growing wage gap based on the level of education. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year Estimates were used to calculate the educational attainment for the Northwest Michigan population age 25 and older.

The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) compiles county data to determine the income level required to cover basic needs. As the federal poverty line does not take regional differences into account, the basic needs expenses data from the MLPP is important in assessing how we are meeting the economic needs of families in Northwest Michigan. Utilizing the Basic Monthly Household Expense data from MLPP and adding a discretionary 30% to the total average monthly expenses provides an indicator of the number of families that have opportunities above just making ends meet. The 30% discretionary amount would allow savings to fund Michigan Education Savings Program contributions, retirement plans, additional training or certifications, or provide for capital to start a business as well as other discretionary life options. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year Estimates were used to calculate the percentage of households that exceed monthly living expenses by at least 30%.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) calculates the number of families falling under a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine poverty rates (ACS Poverty Guidelines). The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but are updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index. The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps). To calculate the number of families falling under the federal poverty line for Northwest Michigan, the ACS 5-Year Estimates of the total number of families for Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties were multiplied by their respective poverty rates, summed, then divided by the total number of families in all 10 counties.

The Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center MICR data compiles crime incident reports for all police agencies in Michigan by county. The database is used to issue annual reports on crime broken down by offense category (Crimes Against Person, Crimes Against Property, Crimes Against Society, Crimes Against All Other) and crime type (murder, assault, robbery, fraud, etc.). The FBI defines Violent Crime as Murder/Non-negligent Manslaughter, Rape, Aggravated Assault, and Robbery.
Last Update: January 11, 2017

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