Manufacturing Rebound Puts Michigan Back in the Ballgame

State surging to once again match its competitors

Manufacturing in Michigan has made a comeback. Following a decade of slumps and dips, the increase in manufacturing jobs in the state is outpacing the nation as a whole and in terms of the actual number of manufacturing jobs the state is poised to surpass Illinois.

“Michigan lost a lot of manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2009,” said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “But since then there has been a robust increase in manufacturing employment. This is true in comparison to both the United States as a whole and Illinois in particular.”

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Here are the trends in manufacturing jobs since January of 2000 for Michigan and Illinois, which have traditionally had very similar manufacturing job totals. The figures on the left of the chart correspond with the amount of manufacturing jobs in the two states represented in increments of 100,000.

Here is the trend line for the entire U.S., which is superimposed. The U.S. trend line corresponds with the figures on the right, which are represented in increments of 2 million.

“Michigan continues to lead the nation in new manufacturing job creation,” Chuck Hadden, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturing Association, told Capitol Confidential. “Since 2009, Michigan has added 110,000 new manufacturing jobs. That is a number far above any other state — more than 50 percent better than even our closest manufacturing competitors.

“From May 2012 to May 2014, Michigan ranked first nationally in gross manufacturing job gains,” Hadden continued. “That outpaces the next closest states by more than 13 percent. The message is clear. If you have a passion for creating something — if science, technology, engineering or math classes drew your interest in school — Michigan is the state with a job for you.”

As the charts reveal, the overall number of manufacturing jobs in both the nation and the two states fell off sharply between 2000 and 2004. At a point, the the decline became more gradual for Illinois and the U.S. but remained comparatively steep for Michigan.

Another sharp fall off took place in 2008, preceding the economic turmoil that became apparent that autumn. This decline was again more pronounced in Michigan than in Illinois and the nation as a whole, as manufacturing jobs in Michigan fell well below the 500,000 mark. Since that time, however, the growth in the number of manufacturing jobs in Michigan has increased steadily, outperforming the trends for Illinois and the entire U.S.

“Manufacturing jobs are down nationally, compared to the level in 2000,” Hohman said. “Overall, this is not a segment of the economy where growth has been expected. But the total manufacturing production in Michigan, in inflation-adjusted dollars, has returned to the state’s 2007 level, which means that there has been a full recovery in manufacturing production. Michigan had a deep valley and a strong recovery in comparison to other states.

“Few would have predicted that we’d bounce back, but we have,” Hohman added. “If trends continue, Michigan will again surpass Illinois in manufacturing jobs this month.”

Hadden pointed out that the growth in manufacturing has a positive ripple effect on the state’s entire economy.

“Michigan employs more than 565,000 men and women directly in manufacturing,” he said. “This does not even take into account the hundreds of thousands, millions even, of jobs that are available in communities because they have a manufacturer nearby. The incredible thing about manufacturing in Michigan is that it is an industry that shares its successes with every community and every person in the state.”

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See also:

Manufacturing Job Growth Helps Move Michigan Ahead

Despite Differing Reports, Michigan Experiencing Solid Job Recovery

Michigan's Labor Force Growth Among Fastest In Nation

Michigan Job Growth Higher Than Initially Reported

Michigan Among the Leaders In Job Growth

Great News For Michigan On Migration Front

Michigan's Job Growth Is More Than Just Auto Related

Despite Popular Thinking, Michigan Economy Is Not Determined By Automotive Industry

Checking the Numbers on Michigan's Auto Jobs

How Much of Michigan's Troubles Can Be Blamed on the Auto Industry?


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