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Michigan added manufacturing jobs for a seventh straight year, according to data collected by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports manufacturing employment in Michigan climbed 1.6 percent between February 2017 and February 2018, extending the increase in manufacturing jobs the state has seen since 2011.
Currently, Michigan’s 13,457 manufacturers employ 719,684 people. Since the end of the recession, employment in Michigan’s manufacturing sector has surged at a rate unmatched by any other U.S. state, increasing by 99,547 jobs or 16 percent.
"Although many states have seen manufacturing employment inch up over the past several years, none has added jobs like Michigan," said Tom Dubin, MNI president. "The state's educated workforce and focus on technology and innovation have allowed automakers and related suppliers to grow and thrive, which has in turn boosted employment across multiple sub-sectors. However, uncertainty over steel and aluminum prices in light of new import tariffs could impact the state’s automakers in the years ahead."
Michigan’s job gains were led by the transportation equipment industry, which rose another 2 percent in the past year and remains the state’s largest sector by employment. The auto industry has driven the state’s post-recession growth, adding more than 23,000 jobs over the past seven years. Major news for the industry included Fiat-Chrysler’s plans to shift Ram heavy truck production from Mexico to its factory in Warren, creating 2,500 jobs. Metal-stamping company Flex-N-Gate also recently started production in Detroit and will eventually hire 400 people.
Foreign automakers have been drawn to the state as well. India’s largest SUV maker, Mahindra, recently established an off-road vehicle facility in Auburn Hills, and French autonomous vehicle maker NAVYA broke ground on an assembly plant in Saline.
Other new Michigan plant announcements included NAI, which will produce interconnect assembly systems in Gaylord, and LG Electronics, which will manufacture electric car parts in Hazel Park.
Additional gains were reported in furniture/fixtures, food processing, fabricated metals, rubber/plastics and industrial machinery. Printing/publishing was the only sector to report a measurable loss. All other sectors reported slight upticks in employment or remained the same.
Industrial locations announcing closures included GM supplier Yanfeng Global Automotive Interiors, which shuttered its Lansing dashboard plant, and Recaro North America, which closed its auto-supply plant in Auburn Hills.
Grand Rapids remains Michigan’s top city by number of manufacturing jobs and is home to 48,403 workers. Industrial employment in second-ranked Auburn Hills rose to 32,036 but fell in third-ranked Detroit to 30,002.
For more information, visit www.mni.net.