The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that Macomb County is the top county in the nation for the creation of new manufacturing jobs.
The county saw an increase of 9,118 manufacturing jobs between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2018. Macomb County is followed by Alameda County, Calif., with an increase of 9,049; Peoria County, Ill. with 8,288; Elkhart County, Ind., with 7,901; and Santa Clara County, Calif., with 7,900.
The trend is consistent with the rest of the U.S. — nationwide, employment in manufacturing is trending upwards, and the sector saw positive gains in the fourth quarter of 2018, with a 1.3 percent increase in productivity, a 2.3 percent increase in output, and a 1 percent increase in hours worked.
“It’s inspiring to see the transformation of manufacturing in Macomb County,” says Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “A few short years ago, many people doubted the future of manufacturing in the United States. Here in Macomb, we held firm in the belief that our manufacturers would remain a key driver of economic prosperity.”
Wayne and Oakland counties also are on the 40-county list for the highest growth in manufacturing. Wayne County came in at No. 20 with an increase of 2,359 manufacturing jobs, while Oakland County, No. 28, saw an increase of 2,126.
“I am pleased to see that our neighbors in Wayne and Oakland counties also made this list,” says Hackel. “This proves to the world that greater Detroit reigns in manufacturing.”
The Macomb County manufacturing workforce includes 1,600 companies and more than 72,000 people.
The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, designed to help businesses with goals for growth, has provided service to more than 146 existing and incoming companies in the county over the past five years. The companies invested more than $1.4 billion in new facilities and equipment.
“The future of manufacturing in Macomb County is strong,” says Vicky Rad, interim director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “This industry is more prepared than ever to meet the needs of consumers and develop some of the most advanced products we have ever seen. Our world-class network of manufacturers are leveraging advanced technologies and cultivating a new-collar workforce.
“At the moment, there are more than 1,100 job postings in this sector in Macomb County. Our manufacturers are looking to hire in all positions. We encourage job seekers to turn to our Michigan Works! Office for help in updating their resume, training opportunities, and more.”
John Paul Rea, deputy county executive, says Macomb County’s work is not done — officials plan to continue to welcome and grow manufacturing opportunities.
As manufacturing evolves and begins to focus on mobility, Industry 4.0, automation, and robotics, manufacturing jobs are becoming viable life-long career paths that include continuing education and certifications.
The county has hosted its Manufacturing Day for the past six years, linking thousands of high-school students to manufacturing plants and highlighting the creativity that is increasingly necessary in manufacturing jobs as technologies advance.