Study: Food, ag businesses boost Michigan's economy

04/11/2012 10:47:00 AM
The Grower Staff

Michigan's food and agricultural businesses continue to be an economic force in the state, according to an updated Michigan State University study.

During 2010, the last year for which data are available, the food and ag industry contributed an estimated $91.5 billion to Michigan's economy, an increase of nearly 50 percent from 2004.

The largest dollar growth came from the wholesale and retail distribution of the supply chain; the largest percent growth came from farming.

Farming alone accounted for 12 percent of the overall total, according to the report. Its contribution nearly doubled to $13 billion from less than $7 billion over the six-year period, according to the report.

Put in perspective, the state's food and ag industry would rank 47th if it were a Fortune 500 company.

Michigan had more than 73,000 full-time farmers and farm workers, accounting for 12 percent of jobs in the food and ag business sector.

Altogether, food and agriculture accounted for 22 percent of all jobs in the state when you factored in direct, indirect and induced jobs.

Although jobs in the food wholesale and retail sectors suffered during the economic downturn, jobs in food processing and agricultural production actually rose more than 6 percent during the same time period, according to the report.

A full copy of the report can be viewed at Michigan State University's Product Center.

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