County boasts largest workforce since 2001

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 20, 2016

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MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County officials recently reported that according to the latest jobs update from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a recent surge in employment numbers has the county holding its strongest workforce numbers in 15 years.

Officials said the county gained nearly 25,000 jobs from January 2015 to May 2016, including 10,000 in just the past three months, to bring the total number of jobs in the county to 408,217.

The county’s high point for workforce came in May 1999, with 437,251 jobs and 2.7 percent unemployment.

“We’re seeing those mid-tier jobs coming back,” said Assistant County Executive John Paul Rea. “That does a lot of good things, not only as far as trickle down because we’re bringing in some of those mid-level manager positions — it’s going to be backfilled with a lot more support personnel.”

The statistics show a continued streak of seven years of job growth from 350,776 workers in 2009.

Rea and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said that the county has worked to diversify its economy to attract new industries and create a more sustainable growth pattern.

“Sophisticated new industries in aerospace, life science, information technology, defense and homeland security have grown alongside Macomb’s traditional manufacturing businesses,” Hackel said. “Businesses are finding success tapping into the world-class talent we have here in Macomb County.”

Rea added that the county has especially benefited from a growth of jobs in advanced manufacturing thanks to the injection of technology and innovation in the field.

“We’re also seeing an incredible emergence in the professional services sector, whether that’s engineering, IT support services or software developers,” Rea said. “It’s just not about stamping out parts.”

Rea said Macomb County has also seen an influx of entry-level positions.

In terms of where the jobs are located, Rea said the main industrial corridors of Mound Road and Van Dyke Avenue remain hot spots, along with M-59. New areas of growth have included 23 Mile Road from Shelby Township to Chesterfield Township, as well as along 33 Mile Road in the northern part of the county.

With population growth averaging 13 new residents per day in the county, Rea said that is another sign of stable economic conditions.

“They showcase the fact that people are going to work in this county, businesses are making money in this county, and it shows favorable signs for growth and prosperity for the county,” Rea said. “No community is completely recession-proof, but when we look at the strides we’ve taken to diversify our economy and the investments individuals have made, these are viable parts of our economy that will continue to provide people opportunities to work in this county.”

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