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Michigan Remains No. 1 in Auto Manufacturing

BY JULIE MACK The good news: Michigan is still No. 1 when it comes to auto manufacturing. Michigan is home to one of five U.S. auto-manufacturing jobs. In fact, Wayne County alone has more auto-manufacturing jobs than any state except Kentucky, according to the most recent data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Michigan also ranks No. 4 in total manufacturing jobs of any type, behind California, Texas and Ohio. The bad news: The long-term trend is not positive. In 1970, more than a third of Michigan workers were employed in manufacturing. Today, it's about 18 percent, a result of automation and globalization. Below is a closer look at Michigan's manufacturing sector and how it compares to other sectors in the state. We'll start with an online database that allows readers to look up private-sector employment in each county by industry category. If you click on a county and "all sectors," you'll see those industries ranked by size of workforce. The data comes from June 2017 figures posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is based on a survey of employers. Next is a series of three maps showing the percent of workers employed in manufacturing in 1970, 2000 and 2012-16, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Unlike the numbers in the online database, which reflects where jobs are located, the Census data reflects the employment of county residents, regardless of whether they work in another county. Manufacturing employed 36% of Michigan workers in 1970 In 1970, Michigan had 3.25 million workers age 16 and older, and 1,168,540 were employed in manufacturing -- including 453,779 in the manufacturing of motor vehicles and other transportation equipment, according to the 1970 Census. Manufacturing employed 23% of Michigan workers in 2000 By 2000, Michigan had 4.6 million workers, of which about 1,045,000 -- or 22.6% -- worked in manufacturing. That means the overall numbers of workers grew by 42% -- thanks to Baby Boomers entering the workforce -- as manufacturing employment dropped 11%. Manufacturing employed 18% of Michigan workers in 2016 In 2016, the Census Bureau estimates the state had 4.6 million workers -- about the same as 2000 -- but manufacturing employment was down to about 844,000, a 19% decline from 2000. In all, manufacturing comprised 18% of total employment, half the proportion in 1970. The county with the largest drop: Genesee, which includes Flint. In 1970, 46% of Genesee County workers were employed in manufacturing. For 2012-16, the Census Bureau estimated it was 16%. Manufacturing was top employer in 38 counties in 2015 Here's a look at the private-sector industry with the most employment in each county, based on the Census Bureau's 2015 survey of businesses. There are 38 counties were manufacturing ranks No. 1; 24 counties where the No. 1 sector is health care and social assistance; 12 counties were retail trade ranks No. 1, and nine counties where the top sectors is accommodations and food service. You can click on a county for a list of the top three private-sector industries. Health care comprises vast majority of 'health care and social assistance' category For those wondering about the breakdown of jobs within the "health care and social assistance," category, about 70% of those jobs are with hospitals and ambulatory health-care facilities such as doctors' offices. Another 18% are employed by nursing homes and residential-care facilities. Social assistance, which comprises 12% of employment in this category, includes nonprofit social welfare agencies as well as day-care centers and vocational rehabilitation centers. Those numbers include only private-sector employers, and not government workers. Manufacturing employment has been going up since the recession Here's a look at BLS employment figures for the first quarter of each year, which only includes workers who had been on the job for at least three months. How the numbers looked in June 2017 Here are the raw numbers of Michigan employment by industry sector in June 2017, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Local government includes public-school employees. The BLS estimates Michigan had 559,133 government workers in June 2017, including 113,393 who worked for state government and 52,898 civilians working for the federal government. Below is a map showing public-sector employment by county. Chippewa County has the highest percentage in the public sector Chippewa County, which includes Ste. Saint Marie, has the highest proportion of workers in the public sector -- 28%, based on the Census Bureau's five-year estimate for 2012-16. Other counties in the top five are also in the Upper Peninsula: Ontonogan, Keweenaw, Mackinac, and Luce. Oscoda County has the highest percentage of self-employed workers An estimated 11.4% of workers in Oscoda County are self-employed in non-incorporated ventures, the highest percentage in Michigan, based on the Census Bureau's five-year estimate for 2012-16. Also in the top five: Antrim, Leelanau, Clare and Missaukee. All five are in the northern Lower Peninsula. This category also includes unpaid family workers, such as people who work on the family farm or for the family business without pay.

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