November 19, 2018

UM economists: Michigan about to enter longest job growth period since WWII

(WXYZ) – The state of Michigan is about to break a job growth record after nearly a decade of uninterrupted job growth, University of Michigan economists say after an annual analysis of the state economy.

According to the economists, the state has nine years of uninterrupted job growth from the third quarter of 2009 through the third quarter of 2018, and is on the brink of the longest job growth period since World War II.

“That’s the good news,” U-M Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics Director Gabriel Ehrlich said in a release. “The mixed news is that job growth is slowing down as the labor market tightens.”

The state saw a 29 percent increase in the number of college-educated 25-to-34-year-olds from 2010 to 2017, and 13 of the 16 largest cities surpassed the national average growth rate for young adults with at least a bachelor’s degree.

On top of that, economists predict that international migration is expected to make up 55 percent of Michigan’s population growth through 2025.

“International migration is an especially important driver of Michigan’s population growth because without it, the state’s population aged 64 or younger is projected to shrink by 200,000 residents by 2025,” Ehrlich said.

Other findings from the analysis include:

Jobs: The state is expected to add 55,200 jobs in 2018 before decreasing to 35,800 in 2019 and 39,300 in 2020. In all though, the state will have gained 683,200 jobs from 2009-2020, which gets back nearly four out of five jobs lost since mid-2000.

Automotive sector: Light vehicle sales have slowed, and they are expected to go down from 17.1 million this year to 16.9 million in 2019 and 2020. Light truck sales are expected to rise from 65 percent last year to 75 percent by 2020.

“All three Detroit automakers have cut their profit forecasts for 2018,” Grimes said. “Ford has claimed that the steel and aluminum tariffs could cost it up to $1 billion.”

Top growth sectors: Construction and professional and business services are the highest growing types, with each adding 11,100 jobs through 2018. Health services grew by 7,400 jobs and manufacturing jobs are up by 6,900.

Unemployment: The state unemployment rate will drop from an average of 4.4 percent this year to 3.9 percent in 2019 and 3.8 percent in 2020.