Aggregated survey findings show that more than 86 percent of companies surveyed say they expect to add new jobs in 2014.  Eighty four percent of St. Clair County respondents anticipate hiring this year.  In addition, more than 93 percent of firms participating in the survey said they did not expect layoffs. 

 “The survey results are more good news for St. Clair County and the 7-county region,” said Dan Casey, CEO, Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County, Michigan.  “Not only are the results positive and useful to our companies, but this effort shows that our region is working well together to the betterment of all of our communities.”

Benefit data for the region revealed that 86.8 percent of participating employers offer health insurance to full-time employees, which is slightly above the 85 percent of national employers offering the same according to 2013 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  Paid time off is provided by 88 percent of respondents and 40 percent offer tuition reimbursement.

Eighty percent of regional respondents said they offer a retirement plan for full-time employees, while in St. Clair County more than 84 percent of employers offered retirement plans.  Both figures exceed the 74 percent national average cited in 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  The most common option offered was a 401K plan.

According to Mike Finney, President and CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) the collaborative effort that resulted in the Regional Wage and Benefit Study is exactly what the state envisioned when it realigned economic development efforts across the state into 10 regions.

“The East Michigan region, which includes the seven counties in this study has raised the bar for other regions across the state,” said Finney.  “By taking the lead on creating a seven-county wage and benefit study, these economic development partners are providing the type of data that will help Michigan stay competitive with regions across the country looking to attract businesses.  The participation of the University of Michigan-Flint as the aggregator and interpreter of the data is also a strong component to the study. Congratulations to all of the partners who led the way on this effort.”

Paula Nas, Director, Center of Economic Education for the University of Michigan-Flint (U of M-Flint) says the process, the participants and the partnership helped create a unique and valuable end result.  She says the regional survey is the result of state-of-the-art data collection and compilation strategies that she was pleased to contribute to the effort on behalf of U of M-Flint.

“The Regional Wage and Benefit Report is the result of a strong collaborative effort,” said Nas.  “Our role was to help design, compile and create the aggregate report, as well as the partnership and county level reports.  Through the utilization of the latest technology and U of M-Flint resources, especially our students, we were able to bring these extensive survey results together.  It was great working with the Chamber and economic development partners from each of the counties.  We are very pleased with the final results.”

Employers from each of the seven counties were invited to complete the survey.  One hundred seventy companies contributed to the report data.  Survey results are available for the entire 7-county region; the I-69 International Trade Corridor, which includes Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and St. Clair counties; MI Green Thumb, which includes Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron counties; and, each of the participating counties.

To obtain the St. Clair County, Michigan, edition, which includes the 2014 I-69/Thumb Regional Wage and Benefit Survey, I-69 International Trade Corridor Survey and Genesee County Survey visit http://www.edascc.com/local-business-support/wage-and-benefit-survey.  The three report set is available for $75.  For more information contact Dan Casey, CEO, of the Economic Development Alliance or EDA staff at (810) 982-9511.