VIDEO: Michigan's Job Growth and Recovering Economy

By Dave Murray | September 23, 2013

A single statistic doesn’t tell the whole story about Michigan’s job growth and recovering economy.

More people are working in Michigan compared to a year ago, and more people are looking to join the workforce again, signs that there is optimism and confidence as the state’s comeback continues.

While Michigan’s unemployment percentage ticked up slightly from July to August, Jason Palmer says to look at trends over a longer period of time and the number of people working.

Palmer is research director for the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

He said analysts looking at numbers looking from August 2012 to August 2013 will see the state added 68,000 jobs.

The August 2013 unemployment figures are the lowest since 2008, and the number is down 1.5 percent from two years ago.

According to a monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted payroll jobs increased in August by 8,000 jobs to 4.1 million. The biggest gains were in the fields of construction, manufacturing and professional and business services. A payroll job as either full time or part time, as long as a person is on a business’s payroll.

Statistics show that more people are returning to the workforce, looking for jobs because they believe the economy has improved.

“The labor market has begun to swell,” Palmer said.

Total employment in Michigan made solid gains in the first half of 2013. Over the year, total employment in the state has displayed relatively strong growth.

Companies are investing in the state, and there are other projects on the horizon that will create job opportunities.

The Michigan Strategic Fund is assisting with projects in Detroit, Lansing and St. Joseph that are projected to generate more than $767 million in new investment and create nearly 5,000 jobs.

There many other examples, including United Shore Financial Services adding 600 jobs as it expands its Troy headquarters.

If you’ve enjoyed a Vlasic pickle, it came from Imlay City, Mich.  That company added about 530 full- and part-time jobs by expanding its operation this year, with a ripple effect in the state’s farms as it buys more vegetables.

ADAC Automotive in Muskegon in July showed off its $20 million investment in a new painting facility that retained 841 jobs and created 130 new positions. It’s still growing. This month the company announced a $7.9 million expansion to create nearly 100 new jobs.

There are more jobs out there. lists more than 63,000 available jobs. There are positions to be filled across the state, with openings for all skill levels.