News Story

Manufacturing Job Growth Helps Move Michigan Ahead

Gov. Rick Snyder's Facebook page boasted recently that Michigan led the nation in manufacturing job growth in May by adding 4,500 jobs.

In fact, from May 2012 to May 2014, Michigan was first in the nation in gross manufacturing job gains with 25,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas was second with 22,000 jobs added. Michigan has been sixth in that time span in percentage growth (4.7 percent). Montana led the nation in percentage growth over the past two years at 8.5 percent.

University of Michigan economist Don Grimes said Michigan's economy is doing well, but he questioned why Gov. Snyder would link its improvement to the manufacturing sector.

"[A]nyone who wants to use employment growth in the manufacturing sector as a primary metric for an area's economic success should have their head examined," Grimes said. "I guarantee that manufacturing employment will grow more slowly than total employment, and in fact, will soon begin to decline — in Michigan, the U.S. overall and in most, if not all, other states too."

Grimes said Michigan had growth in manufacturing jobs last year above the U.S. average, but other states did better.

"If you look at the last year you will see that Michigan's manufacturing sector has added 8,400 jobs for a gain of 1.52 percent," he said. "This growth rate is above the U.S. overall (0.93 percent), but there are several other states that had faster growth over the last year."

Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, attributed much of the recent growth in manufacturing to the recovery of the automobile industry in the state.

"We are still a manufacturing intensive state relative to other places," he said.

Rothwell said other contributing factors are that the state has become more competitive.

"There is more investment by foreign and U.S. manufacturers because of increased competitiveness," he said.


See also:

Despite Differing Reports, Michigan Experiencing Solid Job Recovery

Michigan's Labor Force Growth Among Fastests 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?

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.