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Michigan, you'll have a good 2018. Just don't compare yourself to Florida.

University of Michigan

Nearly ten years after the Great Recession, an economist says the 2018 forecast is bright for Michigan -- as long as we don't compare it to places that are doing even better.

Tom Jackson is an economist with IHS Markit. He says Michigan will see job growth in computer programming and other high tech fields related to vehicle automation.

The state's economy also benefits from its strong public universities.

Just grade the state on a curve, he urges. Job growth will be more robust in southern states like Florida and Texas and Western states like Arizona and Nevada.

"Even under good scenarios, the overall numbers may not look as impressive compared to others," says Jackson.

When it comes to Detroit, Jackson says the city will finally return to pre-recession employment levels by the end of this year.

He says recent efforts by the mayor and business leaders to revitalize the downtown seem to be helping.

"It really does seem like what the Detroit area is doing is working so far," he says, "and especially if you compare it to five years ago. Something must be working."

Jackson says Detroit still has some very heavy lifting to do to fully recover from problems that predate the recession.He says the city has to stabilize its population and tax base, and it has to try to shrink its footprint to conserve city services.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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