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Great Lakes important part of Michigan and regional economy, support 1.3 million jobs

Freighter in MarquetteA fresh look at the Great Lakes' economic impact demonstrates their importance in providing employment and earnings to Michigan's people.

The Michigan Sea Grant study analyzed the status and trends for all employment sectors between 2009 and 2018 across the 83 coastal counties in the eight states along the Great Lakes’ border.

It found the Great Lakes support more than 1.3 million jobs that generate $82 billion in wages annually. The report looks at the number of jobs connected to the Great Lakes by state and by industry.

"This study reveals and reinforces the important role the Great Lakes play across the region and in Michigan's economy," said Emily Finnell, senior Great Lakes advisor and strategist.

Employment data includes industries that rely upon the Great Lakes for key inputs such as water or fish; for economic viability, such as transportation; or for their influence, such as by attracting visitors or providing climate moderation.

"Analyses like this are important because they ensure that we don't underestimate their value to the region," said Catherine Riseng, one of the report's authors and assistant director of Michigan Sea Grant.

A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 34 university-based programs.

The news release contains a link to the full report.

Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant

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