3 Cities to Watch
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Neil Pierson is editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
Michigan’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 4 percent this past
December, but that figure was only slightly above the national rate of
3. 9 percent. Unemployment rates in each of the Detroit metro area’s six
counties fell year over year as of this past November, according to the U.S.
Department of Labor.
A report released this past July by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) listed several job sectors
that should see double-digit percentage growth through 2026. These
include high-wage positions such as mechanical engineers, software
developers and computer-systems analysts.
A separate report from DTMB noted that Michigan’s share of foreign-born
residents is 6. 4 percent, which is about half the national average, and
about 25 percent of this population faces employment challenges due
to language barriers. Foreign-born residents in the Great Lakes State,
however, are more educated than the statewide average, DTMB said.
Focus: Auto manufacturing
Detroit’s largest automakers — Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler —
reduced their profit forecasts for 2018, the University of Michigan reported this past November. Ford reported that federal tariffs on aluminum
and steel would cost the company as much as $1 billion. The “Big Three,”
however, are expected to see their share of U.S. light-truck sales to rise
from 65 percent in 2017 to 75 percent in 2020.
Despite its struggles over the past decade, Michigan’s auto industry is still
a world leader. It is home to 96 of the top 100 North American auto suppliers, and it leads the U.S. in the number of autonomous-vehicle testing
projects, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber. The auto industry is
responsible for 14 percent of the state’s tax revenue and 20 percent of its
workforce, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers reported.
The Motor City’s population declined by 5. 7 percent from 2010 to 2017,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but the metro-area population
has grown in recent years to 4. 3 million residents. An income gap continues to plague Detroit as about 35 percent of the population lived below the federal poverty line in 2016 and the city ranked fifth on a 2018
list of the nation’s most-impoverished areas. Quicken Loans founder
Dan Gilbert, however, has been lauded for a $5.6 billion investment in
Detroit that has created 17,000 jobs across more than 100 businesses.
Located about 150 miles west of Detroit, this city of nearly 200,000
residents grew by 5. 7 percent from 2010 to 2017, according to census
figures. It boasts an unemployment rate of 3. 5 percent and a cost of
living that is 5 percent below the national average. The median household income is about $63,000 and the median home price is $193,000.
Grand Rapids’ largest employers include Spectrum Health, regional
supermarket chain Meijer Inc., and furniture manufacturer Steelcase.
The state capital and home to 117,000 people, Lansing added 4,700
jobs from October 2017 to October 2018, labor statistics show. Michigan State University is a major economic driver as it employs more
than 11,000 people. Other major employers include General Motors,
Sparrow Health System and apparel-manufacturer Peckham Inc. The
Lansing area has three medical schools, two law schools and hosts the
headquarters for four national insurance companies.
Sources: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Brittanica.com; Business Insider;
Detroit Free Press; Detroit Regional Chamber; Forbes; Lansing Economic Area Partnership;
Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget; REN TCafe; Riverbank
Finance; The Grand Rapids Press; U.S. Department of Labor; University of Michigan;
U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. News & World Report; Yardi Matrix