Checking the Numbers on Michigan's Auto Jobs
When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney came to Michigan and said he was opposed to the auto bailout, the Associated Press reported: “GM and Chrysler are again making money and adding thousands of jobs in Michigan, which continues to struggle with an 11.1 percent unemployment rate, the nation's third highest.”
But have GM and Chrysler really added thousands of jobs in Michigan? That could be a stretch, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
From September 2010 through September 2011, Michigan added a net 65,300 jobs, according to the most recent BLS figures.
“That’s a very positive sign about the state’s economy,” said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
But just 1,000 of those 65,300 jobs were from the “transportation equipment” sector, which includes the state’s core blue collar jobs that are tied to the auto industry.
The state’s largest sectors providing job gains are private-sector education and health care services, which saw an additional 25,200 jobs, and professional business services, which added 19,000 jobs.
The auto industry, Hohman said, is only responsible for a small part of the state’s most recent job growth.