MOVING FORWARD: Michigan shows signs of recovery

Dave Phillips| Advisor & Source

While there’s still a long way to go to reach prior levels, Michigan’s economy is showing signs of a resurgence.

For the second consecutive year, the state showed a modest increase in payroll jobs in 2012.

Michigan had 3,983,000 jobs in 2012, is up nearly 50,000 from the year before and more than 100,000 from 2010, Michigan’s worse year for total payroll jobs in quite some time, according to a graph from Michigan Labor Market Information.

The number is still well down from a peak of 4,676,000 jobs in 2000, but is approaching the 4,162,000 jobs the state had before the stock market crash of 2008 and the 2009 bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors.

“Michigan’s employment trend continues to be upbeat,” reads a recent blog post by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The SEMCOG blog post focused on the Michigan Labor Market Information numbers.

The private sector is driving the numbers upward, with manufacturing and professional services leading that charge, the post states.

Construction jobs have decreased, but that could change in the coming year.

“Michigan communities are showing up on national lists of improving home markets,” the post reads.

“A housing recovery will stimulate job growth in the construction industry eventually. Furthermore, many economists are predicting an overall healthy economy for 2013.”

SEMCOG’s economic development strategy lays out many assets that the region can use to build economic prosperity.

“The Detroit automotive industry continues to be the brain center for the global automotive sector, leading the way in research and development and advanced manufacturing,” the report states.

“We have a uniquely talented labor force containing twice as many engineers as the national average.”

The report touts “world-class” airports, universities and medical centers, “one of the busies international trade corridors in the world,” and “abundant, attractive natural resources.”

Another key? Innovation. Michigan was ranked in the top 10 for total number of patents granted in 2011, prompting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to open its first satellite office in Detroit in 2012.

Contact staff writer Dave Phillips at 248-745-4631 or Follow him on Twitter @dave_phillips1.

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