Livingston County continues to grow and there are real opportunities for recruiting and retaining both talent and businesses.

Those are some of the findings of a recently released benchmarking report of Livingston County’s economic growth. It was completed by the Economic Development Council of Livingston County and Ann Arbor SPARK, which provides business recruitment and retention services to the area. The report documents the region’s continued economic success and an action plan for continued economic growth. SPARK works to help companies grow and expand but also connect local talent to job opportunities.

The report examined land use issues, taking into account how the number of available sites and buildings in the county compare to what the market is asking for. There was also a talent component and what job opportunities are out there.
SPARK Senior Vice President Phil Santer says it was a really good opportunity to give a data perspective related to what’s going on in the county, where it excels and where there might be some work to do. He tells WHMI Livingston County is a bedroom community, meaning the majority of people who live here, head outside of the county for work. He explained the county has a highly educated and good population of people living here but there is a need to connect local talent with good job opportunities to work in the county, instead of commute out.

The main industries for economic drive locally include retail/hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing. Santer says the latter has been a great driver for growth in the job market overall and that will continue in the future. He says SPARK will be working to attract and grow businesses that have those types of opportunities. One challenge though is Livingston County having the lowest unemployment rate in all of Michigan’s 83 counties.

Santer says median household income continues to be a high point for Livingston County, which was identified as one of the wealthiest in the state. He says there’s continuing growth with new residents but growth needs to be managed to make sure the business communities have opportunities to grow with them. Finally, he says it will be crucial to stay focused on the talent engagement piece and noted various needs within the health care sector.

A link to the full report is provided. (JM)