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      Bright economic future for seven local counties

      It is no secret that the local economy has suffered in recent years but according to the Economic Growth Alliance things are looking up for Genesee County.

      The EGA announced their annual economic forecast at a luncheon at the Lapeer Country Club.

      Two of the University of Michigan's top economists addressed the crowd and laid out a bright future for the seven counties represented in the Economic Growth Alliance.

      "The jobs already coming back", says Dr. George Fulton of the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy.

      The Alliance's forecast focuses on regional employment for seven counties, including Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee.

      "After the 2009 the region lost 110,000 jobs in one year, and over the last three years we have gained back about 75,000 jobs"

      And it will keep growing. The Alliance estimates the counties will bring in almost 76,000 new jobs in the next three years.

      "These numbers show we are recovering and i am optimistic that there will be 4,000 new jobs through 2015 in Genesee county", says Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Herman.

      According to the study, Genesee County is one of the slower growing areas but unemployment rates are expected to decrease.

      "The unemployment rates go from 9.2 percent to 7.3 percent, so I am cautiously optimistic", adds Herman.

      Fulton says unemployment rate is still too high and says one of the main goals is helping those still unemployed get back to work.