Michigan lost 80,000 manufacturing jobs over past year

RP news wires

Industrial employment in Michigan fell 10.9 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2010 Michigan Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Michigan lost 80,101 industrial jobs and 913 manufacturers between January 2009 and January 2010, the sharpest decline MNI has ever reported for the state. Coupled with the 42,874 jobs lost between 2008 and 2009, industrial employment in Michigan has declined by 122,975 jobs or nearly 16 percent since the start of the recession, according to MNI.

Manufacturers' News reports Michigan is now home to 14,619 manufacturers employing 657,787 workers.

"It's a perfect storm of negative conditions," says Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News. "The country has suffered deep losses in manufacturing employment due to automation and technology, outsourcing and the recession."

According to MNI, the transportation sector saw the worst decline in employment, down 18.4 percent, or nearly 30,000 jobs following layoffs and closures at the Big Three automakers, as well as their suppliers such as Visteon Corporation and American Axle. Transportation equipment manufacturing remains the state's largest industrial sector by employment with 130,003 jobs. Industrial machinery and equipment ranks second with 122,590 jobs, down 9.1 percent. Third-ranked fabricated metals accounts for 83,206 jobs, down 14.3 percent over the past 12 months.

MNI reports other sectors losing jobs over the past 12 months included lumber/wood, down 12.5 percent, due partially to the closure of cabinet manufacturer Merillat Industries. Employment in textiles/apparel declined 11.6 percent; primary metals fell 9.5 percent; stone/clay/glass was down 9.5 percent; rubber/plastics was down 8.5 percent; paper products was down 8.5 percent; printing/publishing was down 8.3 percent; furniture/fixtures was down 7.8 percent; electronics was down 7.5 percent; and food products was down 2.9 percent.

Bright spots for the state include GM's plans to open a lithium-ion battery assembly facility, Ford's plans to convert a larger-vehicle assembly plant to one that will manufacture fuel-efficient and battery electric vehicles, Dow Chemical Company's plans to open a facility in Midland that will manufacture solar shingles and Georgia-based Suniva Inc.'s proposed solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing facility in Saginaw County. Other photovoltaic manufacturers expected to establish facilities in Michigan include Clarivoyant Energy Solar Panel Manufacturing and Xtreme Power Inc.

Southeast Michigan saw the worst drop in manufacturing employment, down 13.3 percent over the past 12 months, and accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 383,393 jobs. Southwest Michigan saw a decline of 7.8 percent, and is currently home to 205,960 industrial workers. No significant change was reported for Central Michigan, accounting for 53,106 industrial jobs. The Upper Peninsula accounts for 15,328 manufacturing jobs, down 5.1 percent over the year, according to MNI.

Grand Rapids remains the state's top city by industrial employment with 42,811 manufacturing jobs, down 8 percent over the year. Detroit accounts for 34,182 industrial jobs, down 21.1 percent. Auburn Hills saw employment decrease 2 percent and is currently home to 22,742 industrial workers, while Warren accounts for 16,632 of the state's jobs, down 6.8 percent. Fifth-ranked Holland accounts for 15,966 jobs, down 6 percent over the past 12 months. 

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