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Outdoor recreation contributes $10 billion annually to Michigan’s economy, according to new data that confirms the importance of the industry that is spurring growing jobs, talent and spending from Monroe to Marquette, according to bridgemi.com.

The data, released Friday (Sept. 20) from the federal government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, shows that Michigan’s boating industry is the fifth largest in the nation, while the state ranks seventh in RV activity.

All told, 127,000 jobs are tied to the outdoor recreation industry, which accounts for an estimated 2% of the state’s $505 billion economy.

The study is the federal agency’s first on a statewide basis of such spending. Although its estimates are lower than those provided by industry groups, the data could provide a blueprint to state officials trying to grow recreation as an industry.

Nationwide, the outdoor recreation industry grew 3.9% in 2017, well above overall growth of 2.4%.

“Michigan is well positioned to take advantage of [outdoor recreation],” said Brad Garmon, who was named the first executive director of the Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry, an office Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created in May.

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