Michigan industrial employment numbers drop despite improved demand

Posted on January 28, 2011

Michigan’s industrial employment sector saw the most job losses this year in the country, according to a report from Evanston, Ill.,-based Manufacturers’ News Inc.

The state’s decline totaled out at 79,101 industrial-related jobs — a 10.7 percent decrease from the previous year. California was a close second after it lost 78,723 jobs, amounting to a 4.8 percent decrease.

Manufacturing plants in Michigan fell by 913, a 5.8 percent decrease. Florida topped that portion of the list with 932 manufacturing plants gone. Overall, industrial employment in the United States declined 3.3 percent, and the number of U.S. manufacturers fell 4.1 percent.

“Technology has driven down manufacturing employment,” Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers’ News, said in a statement. “Even as demand and production return to pre-recession levels, fewer employees are needed in the manufacturing process because of automation and robotics.”

Highly-skilled workers trained in today’s technology will continue to be in great demand, but the days of well paid low-skilled assembly line workers are gone forever, he also said.

There are 357,862 manufacturers employing 16.3 million people currently operating in the United States, according to the report.

Manufacturers’ News compiles and produces manufacturing guides, statistics and databases for all 50 states.