Isabella County

Isabella County saw a 1.6 percent increase in per capita personal income in 2011

Per capita personal income has been on the rise in Michigan the last year, and Isabella County saw a 1.6 percent increase in 2011.

The Detroit Free Press reported 88 percent of all counties in Michigan experienced some increase in personal income – personal income divided by population – between 2010 and 2011, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Nov. 26.

Personal income for Isabella County residents increased to $27,960 in 2011, up from $27,519 in 2010.

Economics Professor Christopher Bailey said this is potentially good news for the economy.

“In general, the expectations are that the economy will improve somewhat in the next year,” he said. “It does depend on what Congress and the President come up with as far as taxing and spending policies. If those are resolved in a satisfactory way, then the economy should be somewhat stronger next year, although probably not back to normal.”

Bailey said there is a better job outlook for students, but there are also more job openings throughout the market.

“I don’t know if I would link that necessarily to the starting salary they might be getting, but there are certainly more jobs available than before,” Bailey said.

As previously reported by Central Michigan Life, Michigan added 165,000 new jobs since 2009; about 40 percent of which were in automotive manufacturing, Assistant Professor of Economics Samuel Raisanen said in November.

Bailey said Michigan’s economy is strongly based in the manufacturing industry.

“For the state in particular, Michigan is more dependent than most states, probably more so than any state, on manufacturing,” he said. “How well manufacturing does depends partly on our exports, and that is determined partly on how strong the dollar is.”

Bailey was hesitant to make any concrete predictions, as so much of the economy depends on so many different factors, but says given the market’s current state, the economy should continue to improve steadily in the upcoming year.

Ingham County, home to Michigan State University, saw a 0.4-percent decrease in per capita personal income at $34,450 in 2011, down from $34,580 in 2010.

Kalamazoo County, home to Western Michigan University, saw a 0.8-percent increase in 2011 at $35,933, up from $35,652 in 2010.

Per capita personal income increased 2.7 percent in Washtenaw County, home of the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, in 2011 with $40,821, up from $39,730 in 2010.

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