We're hopeful that as Michigan's economy strengthens and opportunities expand that manufacturing will continue to benefit from these and other technology breakthroughs that seem to be hovering just around the next corner.
Michigan recorded a fourth consecutive year of employment expansion in 2014, following four straight years of sharp job losses in 2007 through 2010. Rapid gains in total employment in Michigan are also evident from the survey of households. Total Michigan employment exceeded 4.4 million in October 2014 for the first time since 2008. So far during 2014, state employment has advanced by over 100,000, for a solid growth rate of 2.4 percent, exceeding national additions of 1.9 percent. Continued advances are forecast for Michigan employment. The Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at the University of Michigan forecasts a gain in Michigan household employment of 50,000 in 2015 and 52,000 in 2016.*
In a September interview with Capital Confidential, Chuck Haddon, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, stated that "Michigan continues to lead the nation in new manufacturing job creation. Since 2009, Michigan has added 110,000 new manufacturing jobs. That is far above any other state - more than 50% better than our closest manufacturing competitors."
Of course manufacturing is about more than just job growth, but that is one of the key indicators of optimism. When orders are coming in and business is good, employers are more inclined to hire additional workers to keep up with demand and grow the business.
Attracting and retaining skilled workers will be a continued focal point in the days and months to come. The recent announcement of a new state department created with an emphasis on developing a workforce talent pool to meet employer needs is a welcome development.
As we look ahead, MMTC will continue to read the manufacturing landscape and develop collaborative partners and services to assist and strengthen the competitiveness of Michigan's manufacturers.
*Source: DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives: Michigan Economic and Workforce Indicators and Insights — Winter 2015
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