The Employment Forecast for the Grand Rapids Wyoming MSA

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1 The Employment Forecast for the Grand Rapids Wyoming MSA It may not get any better than this. George A. Erickcek Brian Pittelko W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research December 10, 2015

2 A Special Thanks to The Right Place for its continuous long-term support and To the fearless participants of this year s Forecast Advisory Focus Group who accept none of the credit but all of the blame for our forecasts. 1

3 Agenda Looking back at 2016, What went wrong? The state economy continues to be driven by the car industry The competitive strength of the Grand Rapids MSA cannot be denied Its core industries outperform the nation It beats its comparison group of MSAs 2016 and 2017 Employment Forecast Final Thoughts for

4 The U.S. Economy Appears to be on Cruise Control Through 2016 Gross Domestic Product and Nonfarm Employment 5 1, ,000 Percentage change in GDP Forecast ,000-1,500-2,000 Employment change (000s) Q1 11 Q1 12 Q1 13 Q1 14 Q1 15 Q1 16 Q1-2,500 GDP Nonfarm employment Source: BLS, BEA, Philadelphia Federal Reserve. 3

5 Nationwide, the Number of Job Seekers Per Opening Is Back to Pre-recession Levels 6,000 U.S. Job Openings and New Hires 8 Thousands (000s) 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 Job seekers per opening Job openings at end of month Unemployed / job openings Source: BLS Job Opening and Labor Turnover. 4

6 Thought Exercise: How did we miss the 2016 recession? Two days before Thanksgiving Tom Turkey saw nothing but bright days ahead. 5

7 We Did Not Foresee Growing Bubbles in Key Markets The Federal Reserve Overreacting The National Debt/Deficit Taking its Toll International Recession Consumer Confidence Falling off the Cliff Labor Shortage Driving Up Costs Income Inequality 6

8 Is There a Bubble in the Auto Industry? Seasonally adjusted annualized sales (millions) U.S. Light Vehicle Sales and Inventories ,600 1,400 1,200 1, Unit inventories (000s) Total light vehicle sales Unit inventory 7

9 In the Long-Term it Looks Like We Are Just Returning to Normal Annual rate of sales (in millions) Annualized Rate of U.S. Light Vehicle Sales (in millions) Source: BEA. 8

10 Car Industry Fundamentals In 2014, the average age of a vehicle on the road was 11.4 years. Come on people get with the program. With low gas prices, CUVs, SUVs, and pick-ups are back According the BLS, auto prices are trending with the prices of all goods From 2013 to 2015 model years: 114 new models were introduced, on top of 230 existing vehicles. U of M is forecasting car sales to reach 18 million units in 2016 and Wow! 9

11 Stock Market Bubble: Earning-to-Price Ratio of the S&P 500 Looks Pleasantly Boring

12 A Housing Bubble? Indeed, Homes Prices Have Recovered but Not Much More 250 Housing Price Index 1991= Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency. 11

13 Other Bubbles? Oil? Current OPEC policies appear aimed at keeping new oil reserves off line, by keeping prices low. If it raises its price, supply will likely increase. Housing prices in major cities You never see what hits you 12

14 Why Would the Fed Want to Rock the Boat? Employment Is Strong and Interest Rates Are Low 6.0 Interest Rates and Inflation 5.0 Annual percentage rate year Treasury bills 12-month change in CPI-U 30-year mortgages month Treasury bills

15 Consumer Prices Are Still Below the Fed s 2.0 Percent Target 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% Year-Over-Year Change in the PCE Price Index -2.0% Source: BEA PCE Price Index. 14

16 The Banking Situation Looks Calm Net percentage of respondents Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officers Survey: Demand and Lending Standards for Commercial and Industrial Loans by Medium-to-Large Firms Reporting tightening standards Reporting stronger loan demand 2010 Q Q Q Q Q Q1 Source: Federal Reserve. 15

17 However, the International Market Place Is Sluggish Percent Change in GDP over the Previous Year China U.S Japan OECD Europe Source: OECD. 16

18 The Value of the Dollar is Not in Question 0-10,000-20,000-30,000-40,000-50,000-60,000 U.S. Trade Balance and Nominal Index of the Value of the Dollar against Seven Major Currencies Trade balance Major currencies' Dollar index , Source: BEA and Federal Reserve. 17

19 In the Past Five Years, Consumer Confidence Has Risen and So Has Household Debt Billions ($) Consumer Confidence and Change in Consumer Debt Consumer debt Consumer confidence Source: New York Federal Reserve and Conference Board Index: 1995 =

20 Consumers Are Not Spending Beyond Their Abilities Personal Outlays as a Percent of Personal Income 88% 87% 86% 85% 84% 83% 82% 81% 80% 79% 78% 77% Source: BEA. 19

21 Possible Skill Shortages Have Not Caused Wage Increases, Nationwide 3.5 Year-over-Year Change in Total Compensation of Private Industry Workers Source: BLS. 20

22 Income Inequality Has Always Been Year with Us, but It Is Growing Lowest fifth Mean Household Income in 2014 dollars Second fifth Third fifth Fourth fifth Highest fifth Top 5.0 percent ,841 29,369 47,294 66, , , ,794 29,354 48,438 71, , , ,594 31,687 52,338 78, , , ,963 34,863 58,058 90, , , ,938 30,982 53,389 85, , , ,676 31,087 54,041 87, , ,347 Chg % 6% 14% 32% 64% 83% Source: https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/inequality/ 21

23 Summing up It is hard to find a cause for a recession in 2016 However, sluggish international markets and the income inequality could slow growth 22

24 Michigan Employment Trends From 3rd Quarter 2014 to 3rd Quarter 2015, employment increased by 90,000 jobs Manufacturers added 24,000 jobs during the four quarters If you are willing to assume an employment multiplier for manufacturing of 3.8, all of the state s employment growth during the period was due directly and indirectly to its manufacturers Source: University of Michigan. 23

25 Manufacturing Clearly Stands Above the Other Planets 30 Manufacturing Employment Change, Q to Q Job change (000s) Health care Prof., tech. Admin. and support Construction Retail trade Hospitality Finance Transport., util. Other serv. Wholesale Real estate Management Information Educ. services Arts, ent., rec. Government Source: BLS CES. 24

26 Again, Possible Skills Shortages Are Not Reflected in Higher Wages 30 Average Hourly Wage in Michigan, 2015 dollars 25 Hourly wage ($) Source: BLS CES. 25

27 Latest University of Michigan Employment Forecast Shows Continued Growth Employment forecast 4 th quarter to 4 th quarter: ,100 jobs ,100 jobs ,800 jobs Source: University of Michigan RSQE Nov,

28 The State s Unemployment Rate Has Improved and Now Stands at 5.0 Percent Percent of labor force Unemployment Rate Source: BLS LAUS. 27

29 Grand Rapids Wyoming MSA Employment is very robust Core industries are competitive Comparison areas cannot keep up However, earnings remain flat 28

30 Another Solid Year, with Employment Growth Reaching 18,600 Jobs Employment Change, Jan Sep 2014 to Jan Sep 2015 Construction Manufacturing Wholesale Retail Transportation & utilities Information Financial Business & professional Education & health Leisure & hospitality Other services Government Employment (in 000s) Source: Michigan Labor Market Information, CES. 29

31 The Current Unemployment Rate is 3.3 Percent with 18,500 Persons Unemployed 14 Unemployment Rate for the Grand Rapids MSA Source: MILMI LAUS and Upjohn Institute. 30

32 Unemployment Has Been Falling for the Right Reasons Since 2010 Change in Individuals, October to October Year Labor Force Employment Unemployed Unemployment rate ,314-29,902 23, ,038 23,369-12, ,849 9,713-8, ,171 15,426-6, ,386 8, ,252 26,364-9, ,499 16,816-4, Source: BLS LAUS and Upjohn Institute. 31

33 From the Start of the Great Recession (Dec 07) to Today, Grand Rapids Employment Has Increased by 9 Percent (44,250 jobs) Compared to Only 4 Percent Nationwide 110 Nonfarm Employment Index (2000 = 100) U.S. Michigan Grand Rapids MSA Source: BLS and Upjohn Institute, seasonally adjusted. 32

34 Unlike the Nation, Manufacturing Employment Has Fully Recovered from the Recession Employment is up 7.2% or 7,200 Workers Manufacturing Employment Index (2000 = 100) U.S. Michigan Grand Rapids MSA Source: BLS and Upjohn Institute, seasonally adjusted. 33

35 Service Employment Has Grown Faster Than the Nation s as Well Services Employment Index (2000 = 100) U.S. Michigan Grand Rapids MSA Source: BLS and Upjohn Institute, seasonally adjusted. 34

36 But What About the Area s Core Industries? How Did They Weather the Storm? Time period of the analysis: 2004 to 2014 Definition of the core: An industry that is at least twice as concentrated in the Grand Rapids area than nationwide The question: Did these industries outperform their national rivals? Area is defined as Kent, Barry, Ionia, and Newaygo Counties 35

37 List of Core Industries Plastics Fabricated metals Machinery manufacturing Electrical equipment and appliance manufacturing Transportation equipment Furniture Administrative and support services Hospitals 36

38 During the Period, the Area s Core Industries Added 23,600 Jobs Due to Their Competitiveness Job change due only to the Core Industries area s firms outperforming their national rivals Plastics 1,857 Fabricated metals 1,034 Machinery manufacturing -384 Electrical equipment and appliances 613 Transportation equipment 397 Furniture 1,708 Administrative and support services 13,759 Hospitals 4,604 37

39 So Grand Rapids Is Better than Average But if it is compared to other successful MSAs, will it look just as good? The answer is yes. 38

40 A New Comparison Analysis Comparison Areas: Birmingham-Hoover, AL Charlotte-Concord- Gastonia, NC-SC Dallas-Fort Worth- Arlington, TX Greenville-Anderson- Mauldin, SC Knoxville, TN Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Metro Area Portland-Vancouver- Hillsboro, OR-WA Metro Area Rochester, NY Tulsa, OK 39

41 Comparison Criteria Population 20% above or 20% below the Grand Rapids Wyoming MSA Not located on an oceanic coast Not a state capital Must have at least 10% of their overall GDP generated from the manufacturing sector 40

42 Grand Rapids Provides the Best Employment Conditions of the Lot Average Unemployment Rate, Jan Oct 2015 Grand Rapids Comparison average Dallas, TX Tulsa, OK Louisville, KY Rochester, NY Portland, OR Birmingham, AL Knoxville, TN Charlotte, NC Greenville, SC Source: BLS LAUS. 41

43 It Has the Best Overall Employment Performance as Well Total Employment Change Jan Oct 2014 to Jan Oct 2015 Grand Rapids Comparison average Dallas, TX Charlotte, NC Portland, OR Louisville, KY Greenville, SC Knoxville, TN Birmingham, AL Rochester, NY Tulsa, OK Employment percent change Source: BLS CES. 42

44 Growth in Export Services Is a Challenge for Grand Rapids Services Employment Change Jan Oct 2014 to Jan Oct 2015 Grand Rapids Comparison average Dallas, TX Portland, OR Greenville, SC Charlotte, NC Louisville, KY Knoxville, TN Birmingham, AL Rochester, NY Tulsa, OK Employment percent change Source: BLS CES. 43

45 The Other MSAs Are Choking in the Dust Manufacturing Employment Change Jan Oct 2014 to Jan Oct 2015 Grand Rapids Comparison average Portland, OR Louisville, KY Charlotte, NC Knoxville, TN Greenville, SC Dallas, TX Rochester, NY Birmingham, AL Tulsa, OK Employment percent change Source: BLS CES. 44

46 OK, Portland Is Definitely a Cool City, but Tulsa? Percent Self-Employed in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Grand Rapids Comparison average Portland, OR Tulsa, OK Louisville, KY Greenville, SC Birmingham, AL Charlotte, NC Dallas, TX Rochester, NY Knoxville, TN Employment percent change Source: BLS CES. 45

47 Twenty Years Ago It Was a Different Story; Grand Rapids Has Made Great Strides in Attracting Educated Young Adults Bachelor's Degree or Higher, Age Grand Rapids Comparison average Portland, OR Rochester, NY Charlotte, NC Dallas, TX Louisville, KY Birmingham, AL Greenville, SC Tulsa, OK Knoxville, TN Employment percent change Source: BLS CES. 46

48 So What Is Our 2016 and 2017 Employment Forecast for Grand Rapids? But wait, how did we do last year? 47

49 Wait for it... 48

50 Percent change in employment 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% Review of Last Year s Forecast: Not bad, if we do say so ourselves 3.1% 3.2% Annual Percent Change in Employment 5.1% 4.8% 3.2% 3.2% -0.2% -0.8% Total Goods producing Service providing Government Current estimate Forecasted 49

51 So What Did We Consider? Besides the information from our forecast advisory group 50

52 Construction May Be Tapering 1200 Number of Dwelling Units Put Under Contract for Construction (SAAR*) New dwelling units 12-month moving average Source: Dodge Data and Analytics. *Seasonally adjusted annual rate 51

53 I See the Forming of a U, Do you? Construction Permits Issued, Grand Rapids MSA 5,000 4,500 4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1, * Total, All Structure Types Single Family Houses Source: Census Housing Starts. * Projection based on year-to-date, Oct

54 Wage Rates Appear to be Stable Despite Skilled Labor Shortages 1,200 Total Nonfarm Wages (2015 Dollars) Average weekly wage ($) 1, Michigan Source: Michigan LMI and BLS CPI. Grand Rapids MSA 53

55 In Fact, Wages in Manufacturing Appear to be Weakening Average weekly wage ($) 1,800 1,600 1,400 1,200 1, Total Manufacturing Wages (2015 Dollars) Michigan Grand Rapids MSA Source: Michigan LMI and BLS CPI. 55

56 Brian Long s PMI Is Stable, but There Are Signs of Slippage 80 Purchasing Managers Index Purchasing Managers Index 12-month moving average Source: National Association of Purchasing Management. 55

57 MADA index Michael Dunlap s Survey Continues to Show Moderate Strength in the Area s Office Furniture Industry MADA Office Furniture Industry Index and Index of West Michigan Furniture Industry Employment Index of Grand Rapids metro furniture employment MADA index Index of employment (2010 = 100)

58 Percent change in employment 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% Grand Rapids MSA Employment Forecast Annual Percent Change in Employment 5.1% 3.1% 3.2% 2.4% 2.5% 2.7% 2.7% 2.2% 2.4% 0.8% 0.1% -0.8% Total Goods producing Service providing Government

59 Final Thoughts It is highly unlikely that the economy will turn negative in However, it could slow due to: Sluggish International Market Insecurity Income inequality Of course, 2016 is an election year and economists tend to hide for cover and stay away from policy debates. Politics trumps economic thinking every time. 58

60 Final Thoughts HOWEVER, I am in a unique position and am willing to say Neither the size of the federal government nor the national deficit is the problem The national deficit is best addressed through economic growth: not tax cuts or reduced government spending We should learn from Europe; austerity is not working 59

61 Final Thoughts Keeping demand up is key Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit Infrastructure spending for our roads, airports, public transportation, alternative energy 60

62 The Employment Forecast for the Grand Rapids Wyoming MSA It may not get any better than this. George A. Erickcek Brian Pittelko W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research December 10, 2015

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