Annual iLabs survey finds improving Technology Business Climate in Michigan

March 26, 2013

University of Michigan-Dearborn iLabsTechnology business leaders have a more consistent and positive perspective of Michigan as a place to do business, according to the fifth annual Michigan Technology Climate survey conducted by iLabs, UM-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. The survey, which assesses opinions of executives regarding the current business climate facing high growth and tech firms, found the majority of leaders indicating that they plan to expand their workforce this year to meet expected increases in sales.

“We are seeing a consistent and positive outlook among technology leaders,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs. “There is a sustained momentum rooted in the confidence and optimism of last year combined with the current growth rate of technology companies. This momentum is reinforced by positive views of Michigan, both at the state level and regionally, as a place that is increasingly friendly to business, supports technology interests and cultivates an environment where industry can grow.”

157 technology business leaders, up from 55 in 2012, participated in the survey, with half indicating that a majority of their revenue comes from Michigan. The Technology Business Climate Survey was conducted statewide in collaboration with Automation Alley, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the MIT Enterprise Forum – Great Lakes Chapter, The Right Place, and the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN).

Significant findings include:

  • 96 percent of respondents indicated that their firm is planning to keep employment levels the same or expand their workforce in 2013
  • 75 percent of respondents indicated that their firm expects to see an increase in revenue this year, which is a significant improvement over previous years
  • 89 percent of respondents indicated that the current conditions for the technology industry in Michigan versus six months ago is holding steady or improving
  • 90 percent of respondents indicated that the conditions for the technology industry are holding steady or improving into the next year
  • 75 percent of respondents indicated that Michigan’s technology climate, as compared to other states, is the same or better
  • 67 percent of firms that plan to hire new employees will do so locally
  • In 2012 there is a markedly higher percentage of respondents than in the past who indicated that Michigan’s government/policies promote economic growth and entrepreneurial development

Visit for more information about the Tech Climate Survey or iLabs.

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