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GRDadof3

Grand Rapids MSA Economic Strength

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They've been discussing this STUDY in the UrbanDiscussion section of UP, and just wanted to see what you guys thought. It places Grand Rapids - Wyoming at #42 our of 360 MSA's, higher than:

Baltimore, Portland, Vegas, NY, Philadelphia, Hartford, Jacksonville, Miami, Detroit, and over 300 other cities. It uses a strange mix of methodology:

Earnings and growth (per capita)

How money is flowing in and out of economy (retail, construction, etc.)

Negative sectors (welfare and medicaid)

Stability of growth (vs. fastest growth)

It's interesting that they state that if construction activity is extremely high, as well as retail, it usually indicates a high immigration of retirees, which is not an indicator of a strong economy (if I read it correctly).

Someone smarter than me (most of you) should read this and tell us what you think. You can imagine it has ignited some heated discussions.

edit: 42 :blush:

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It's interesting that they state that if construction activity is extremely high, as well as retail, it usually indicates a high immigration of retirees, which is not an indicator of a strong economy (if I read it correctly).

My interpretation was that generally, if construction and retail activity is high then the economy is doing well. The part about retirees is cited as an example of an exception; i.e. an economy may not really be doing all that well, even though a high number of retirees moving to the area are driving up the aforementioned numbers.

A strong construction and retail industry does not necessarily mean that there are lots of retirees moving in.

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I saw that over there. I didnt know what to make of it either. What exactly is economic strength? Is it a prediction of future economic growth, something similar to GDP, a measure or predicition of population growth? The guy used some strange data. I don't get it.

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You're right, they just cited that as an example, Andy. It appears that strong consistent stable growth will get you a high ranking on this report. If your economy tends to expand and contract regularly, down you go. I don't know Gary, I have to print it and read it.

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I've always thought that the best type of economy was the kind that had enormous boom and bust cycles. California, New York, Houston, I think Phoenix works like this as well. Don't these types of places have the largest GDP growth?

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I've always thought that the best type of economy was the kind that had enormous boom and bust cycles. California, New York, Houston, I think Phoenix works like this as well. Don't these types of places have the largest GDP growth?

This researcher says no. He thinks boom and bust causes instability amongst employers. I think any report that says our economy is stronger than NYC's is questionable :silly:

Here's his quote:

"Areas with strong boom and bust economies are difficult places to conduct business. Residents of these areas are subject to economic uncertainty and stress."

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What's also interesting is that although GR is 42, Holland-Grand Haven is way down the list at 190. I thought Holland, and Ottawa county especially, was growing pretty quickly. I wonder what the overall ranking would be if the entire Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland MSA were evaluated.

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I did a little research and it looks like the places ranked at the bottom of the list do have slow growing or stagnant populations. Using this MSA population report, places that did poorly in the report like Pine Bluff, Arkansas (#355), has lost people four straight years. Kokomo, IN (#335) has hovered around 0 growth for more than a decade. Youngstown OH (#313) has been dismal, losing residents most every year since the 70s. Instability doesn't help either: Odessa, Texas at 350 had big swings losing people every year from 1999-2001 and then gaining each year from 2002-2004.

Conversely, Charlotte, which is ranked #1, has added 1.9% - 3.1% since the 80s. In the same amount of time, Atlanta (#2) has added 2 million people, and D.C. (#3) 1.6m.

So maybe the population growth or decline is actually a given based on other economic factors included in this report.

That

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Watch out Michi. Those Portlanders troll around here occasionally :P

These guys give a lot of weight to CONSISTENCY of growth:

1998 - 2002: Weighted once

1993 - 2002: Weighted twice

1983 - 1992: Weighted once

Hence, as someone mentioned Charlotte and Atlanta, which have had consistent growth for at least 20 years, their growth stats are weighted four times. With that being said, I believe GR Metro (they didn't have MSA's 20 years ago) has been steadily increasing in population, construction and GDP for at least 20 years. I'd have to dig up those stats.

edit: here's one that shows number of workers (increase) from 1980 - 2000:

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:AJH_X_...80+-+2000&hl=en

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With that being said, I believe GR Metro (they didn't have MSA's 20 years ago) has been steadily increasing in population, construction and GDP for at least 20 years. I'd have to dig up those stats.

edit: here's one that shows number of workers (increase) from 1980 - 2000:

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:AJH_X_...80+-+2000&hl=en

The Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland MSA grew from 1,000,018 in 1994 to 1,133,127 in 2004, for an increase of about 13%, or 1.3% per year.

Full MSA Report

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The Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland MSA grew from 1,000,018 in 1994 to 1,133,127 in 2004, for an increase of about 13%, or 1.3% per year.

Full MSA Report

That's a good one dbrok. Here's another one:

http://www.censusscope.org/us/m3000/chart_popl.html

I guess that is pretty consistent:

1960 - 1970: 13.99%

1970 - 1980: 10.17%

1980 - 1990: 11.54%

1990 - 2000: 16.06%

No fuss, no muss.

**past results are no guarantee of future results** ;)

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That's no surprise about Portland. There's virtually no jobs out there.

5.3% unemployment in the Portland-Vancouver area. There are plenty of jobs, mostly out in the suburbs.

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5.3% unemployment in the Portland-Vancouver area. There are plenty of jobs, mostly out in the suburbs.

^^^Did I call that one or what???^^^ Told you Michi :lol:

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^^^Did I call that one or what???^^^ Told you Michi :lol:

Nope, whiffed on that one, I am not from Portland. Heck, there aren't even Portlanders trolling their own forum here at UP.

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My point focusing on population growth is exemplified by Las Vegas, which is, and has been for sometime, the fastest growing area of the country. It

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I think that growth alone does not justify a healthy market though, you also have to look at earnings growth, GDP, retail spending, etc.. I think you've actually argued the same thing here before HolidayInnExpress. It's just like a corporation, growth alone does not a healthy company make. In the case of Las Vegas, yes the growth is explosive, but so are the housing prices. Many have declared the "affordability days" of Las Vegas over, especially with housing prices leaping 50%+ a year. As housing becomes less affordable, I would imagine construction slows and retail spending is curbed, somewhat. Maybe also the "maintenance" costs in Las Vegas have climbed, bringing their ranking down.

Also, this ranking puts GR at #43, not exactly earth-shattering. IMO.

If I am not mistaken....Las Vegas Housing cost have only recently exploded.....which would not be heavily weighted in the methodology of the study. I dare say that a person has had an easier time finding a job in Las vegas than Grand Rapids....in the last 5 years. Would you agree with that?

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I don't know. It would probably depend on the job. Hospitality, tourism, construction and anything related ie mortgage lending, inspections, laborers, contractors, real estate, civil engineering, etc.. most definitely.

edit I started to go off on a tangent regarding housing markets.

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