Measuring the Effects and Recovery of the 2008 Great Recession in Michigan Local Governments

April 2020
Natasha Robertson

Nationally, the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, with employment and market conditions on a steady incline to recover from the economic downturn. However, many nationwide improvements of the economy were not truly seen until 2015, as the United States started closing in on full employment. Over the last ten years, local governments throughout Michigan have been in the process of recovery. Despite this recovery, there are many benefits to studying the mechanisms that allowed recovery since 2008. As another recession looms over the country in the present day, lessons from the Great Recession seem to grow in relevance. This study will look at the characteristics of Michigan local governments to understand which municipalities were able to recover and grow economically after the recession, and which local governments continue to struggle with a sustained lack of growth and continued economic hardship, and may be at greater risk from a new recession. Differences such as geographic region, population size, and urban-city may have a large impact on the ability of some jurisdictions to recover fully.