For those of you who are still convinced that manufacturing is dead, there is solid new evidence to the contrary and the proof is right here in Michigan’s Great Southwest.
Team Kinexus is reporting today that the latest statewide numbers show the manufacturing industry grew by fully 5-percent in 2018. That in itself would bode well for the region’s largest industry, reflecting strong health and ongoing growth, but a deeper dive shows solid gains on the homefront. Kinexus says that the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB), clearly indicates that Berrien County’s manufacturers added 600 jobs in the last year alone.
Kinexus Group President & CEO Todd Gustafson says, “To no surprise, manufacturing continues to lead the way in our region. The $2.9 billion industry makes up nearly 19-percent of all jobs in Southwest Michigan.” Gustafson adds, “What’s even better is that the manufacturing industry is expected to grow 2.9-percent over the next five years, potentially adding an additional 500 jobs in the region.”
The Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information’s December 2018 report also shows employment was up by 500 jobs over 12 months, and the unemployment rate in the Niles-Benton Harbor market was 4.3-percent, which was a decrease of 0.8-percent compared to December 2017. A total of 69,200 people were working in December of 2018, compared with an estimated 69,100 a year ago.
The labor force, which is made up of jobseekers and those who are currently working, saw a decrease of 400 people from December 2017 to December 2018.
Gustafson says, “We know issues like reliable transportation and a lack of training or education can discourage those that are looking for work,” but adds, “We are using every creative means to remove barriers that limit these individuals and provide them with tools and resources to be successful in the workforce.”
Kinexus Group is an organization that invests its time and resources into inspiring positive economic change one individual, one business, and one community at a time. For more information, visit online at www.Kinexus.org, follow along on Twitter @KinexusGroup or “like” them on Facebook @KinexusGroup.