Michigan Leads Midwest in Private Sector Job Creation, Forecast for 230K More Jobs by 2023

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Michigan ranks fifth in the country for its creation of nearly 400,000 private sector jobs since late 2010, in a report released today by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We can’t just be satisfied with being a leader in the Midwest,”  Gov. Rick Snyder. “We’re working to lead the nation in developing the skilled trades, creating an environment for businesses to grow and thrive, and building on the entrepreneurial spirit that is known around the globe.” 

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also revealed that Michigan’s unemployment rate — 5.9 percent — is the lowest it’s been since 2001. This is down from 6.3 percent in January and 7.8 percent in February 2014.

Private sector jobs increased across the board, with the only drop coming from government jobs. More than 100,000 private sector jobs have been created in the past year in Michigan.

The state has created more private sector jobs than any other Midwestern state, but trails California, Texas, Florida, and New York nationally. In the last year, Michigan has seen growth in fields such as hospitality, trade, manufacturing, and construction, among other industries.

Between 2000 and 2010, Michigan lost around 870,000 jobs, with 632,000 coming during the Granholm administration. Since taking office, Snyder and the state legislature moved to make business taxes more competitive with other states, eliminated more than 3,000 unnecessary and obsolete regulations, balanced the annual state budget every year, and ushered in Michigan as a right to work state. 

IN RELATED NEWS, nearly 500 Michigan business and policy leaders convened in Lansing today for the third annual Building a New Michigan Leadership Summit hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan. The event offered projections, data, and strategies for accelerating the state’s economy.

“Michigan has natural assets and strengths capable of driving long-term job, income and GDP growth,” says Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “But these opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them in smart, aggressive ways. We’re in a fast-paced global race for economic leadership. We must maximize every opportunity we have if we’re going to win.”

Rothwell highlighted his organization’s latest report on each of six key opportunity areas identified in the Michigan Turnaround Plan’s New Michigan strategy as having the best potential to create good paying jobs in the state. “Michigan can be a global leader, but we have to aggressively build upon our strengths,” Rothwell says. “As a top 10 competitor, our state stands to gain 230,000 more jobs by 2023, $14,000 more in average annual earnings, and $36,500 more in per capita GDP. We can’t afford not to get serious about each of these opportunities.”

The report showed shows continuing strength in Michigan’s engineering, mobility, manufacturing, and innovation sectors. Highlights include:

  • At $63,219, average earnings for the six opportunity areas are nearly one-third higher than average earnings for all Michigan industries.
  • Nearly 20 percent of all jobs created were in the New Michigan opportunity areas. New Michigan jobs grew 34 percent faster than the statewide average.
  • While Michigan’s average earnings in each opportunity area went up slightly during the past year, wages are not increasing as fast as those in the Top Ten states.

“We need to keep our pedal to the metal,” Rothwell says. “If Michigan was performing at top 10 levels, we would not be experiencing any type of wage differential.”

The conference included discussion on how other states and regions are leveraging their key strengths. “Other states have engaged in processes similar to ours as they map out their assets and opportunities and begin to move forward,” Rothwell says. “We must take pages from their playbooks and be aggressive about our future economic growth.”

Highlights of the 2015 New Michigan report include:

  • Global Engineering Village: Michigan continues to rank highly for the percent of its workforce engaged in engineering (#2 in the U.S.) and the amount of GDP stemming from this sector (#1). However, our production of engineering grads has slipped from #3 to #5.
  • Gateway to the Midwest: Michigan ranks first in the U.S. for imports and exports with Canada, and is #2 and #3 in imports and exports with Mexico. Michigan is below the U.S. average for the number of graduates prepared to work in this industry.
  • Higher Education Marketplace: Our state is ranked among the nation’s Top Ten for earnings, total degrees awarded, total enrollment, and STEM degrees awarded.  Unfortunately, Michigan is in the bottom 15 of all states for the amount of state support provided to colleges and universities.
  • Natural Resources Economy: Earnings in this sector are above average, as are patents, establishments, and tourism spending. Sadly, Michigan remains near the bottom for GDP and employment in this sector, and is below the U.S. average in the number of graduates produced.
  • Global Center of Mobility: Michigan ranks in the top five for patents awarded (2nd), and the share of national GDP (4th), earnings (3rd), and employment (3rd) in mobility industries.  However, average earnings in this sector are only slightly above average and the number of auto-ready grads Michigan produces is in decline.
  • Life Sciences Hub: Michigan is above average in all economic outputs related to this sector. Michigan ranks in the Top Ten for university R&D.

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