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Downtown Grand Rapids
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Manufacturing in West Michigan took a downward turn in July.

That's according to the latest Institute for Supply Management survey from Grand Valley State University.

The survey of manufacturers shows that new orders "dropped substantially" last month.

Job application and pen
flazingo.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The employment rate for individuals in Michigan with serious mental illness increased in 2018.

That's according to a new report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Brittany Smith grew up mostly in Detroit, earning a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan. But when she and her then-boyfriend, Sam, began their careers, they ran into roadblocks. It was 2013, and Detroit was still struggling from the effects of the Great Recession. Sam Smith couldn't find full-time work. His job as a college career counselor wrapped when the campus where he worked shut down.

They began looking for an out.

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

About 7,000 Michigan workers went through a layoff in 2018, according to data from the state. That number was about the same as in 2017.

The list doesn’t include everyone who lost a job for the year. And, overall, the state gained more jobs than it lost in 2018.

Want to save Detroit? Put its citizens to work

Jul 5, 2017

Everybody knows that Detroit has made it through bankruptcy, and that a remarkable coalition of people and politicians came together on a “Grand Bargain” to save the city.

But now we need to start thinking about the next hugely important step, one that’s largely been ignored: Finding a way to bring many thousands of forgotten people into the workforce and make them economically and socially productive citizens.

John Auchter / Auchtoon.com

My inner dialogue for this week's cartoon —

Rational Me (RE): Let's please do something without Donald Trump in it. There's just so much going on with him right now, our cartoon might just get lost in the news swirl.

Emotional Me (EM): Absolutely. I'm on overload with that <redacted> and besides drawing him kinda make us queasy.

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Ford has reportedly come up with an answer to its lackluster stock performance: shed jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is getting ready to cut about 10% of its workforce to help boost its stock price.

Reuters further reported that those jobs will come from salaried workers in North America and Asia, not hourly workers.

Courtesy of Cascade Engineering

For people who get out of prison, the chances of getting a job are often slim to none.

There are programs to help ex-offenders find work and transition back into society, but funding a company willing to hire former inmates proves a challenge.

Recently, though, some companies have been not just hiring, but recruiting ex-offenders.

Crowdsourcing school guidance counseling

Dec 10, 2015
Keyboard with a"Jobs" button
Got Credit / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

When it comes to having a 21st-century workforce, Southeast Michigan is in the midst of a “perfect storm.”

During years of economic decline, Michigan struggled to keep its residents educated and trained for the modern workplace. Now that the economy is in recovery and new job openings are finally emerging, there are not enough qualified young people left to fill them.

U of M economists predict more job growth for Michigan

Nov 20, 2015
Fortune cookie
Flazingo.com / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan is set to regain two-thirds of the jobs lost in the state since the Great Recession.

According to the annual economic forecast from the University of Michigan, there will be close to 126,000 new jobs in the state within the next two years.

Kate Hiscock / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new state initiative aims to help foreign-born professionals find jobs in Michigan.

The Michigan International Talent Solutions program offers skilled immigrants assistance with resumes, applications, interview skills and other aspects of the job search process.

Annie Fenton, the program's director, said immigrants who worked in professional roles in their home countries often have difficulty finding equivalent positions in the United States. 

Hart Plaza in Detroit.
Jason Mrachina / Flickr

Michigan’s rate of unemployment is down. Detroit’s is expected to continue to decline. However, Detroit’s rate is still about twice that of the state.

The Next Idea

You may have never heard of Joseph Schumpeter, an eccentric Austrian economist who taught at Harvard in the 1930s and '40s. But to those of us who study the strategic and financial dynamics of innovation, he is far more influential than his peers John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman. Schumpeter is the guy who made the entrepreneur the engine of growth for an economy, and several Nobel Laureates since have suggested that he was right on most counts.

Michigan can expect “brisk” job growth at the start of 2015, according to a new report.

Twenty-five percent of Michigan employers tell Manpower they expect to hire new people during the first three months of 2015. Only Hawaii and North Dakota posted higher numbers.   

More and better jobs?

Oct 30, 2014

Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Snyder has been vague about what he would do in the next four years in office, saying only, "We're on the road to recovery." He also says he'll pursue "more and better jobs." Political observers expect Snyder will continue on the path he's established, working to stimulate businesses while keeping a tight rein on state spending.

In an ad, Snyder says, "Our unemployment rate is the lowest in six years with nearly 300,000 new private-sector jobs." 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The job prospects for college graduates are improving.

A new Michigan State University study predicts a 16% increase in hiring of college students graduating during the 2014-15 academic year. For the past few years, the MSU study only predicted about a 2% to 4%  growth rate in college graduate hiring.

“We’re getting back to where we were in 2008 before everything turned down,” says Phil Gardner, the director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute.

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Even with the unemployment rate at 7.5% in Michigan, employers say they still can’t find the skilled workers they need to fill available jobs.

But other voices question the skills gap, calling it "overblown", even a "myth" and suggesting that it’s really more the fault of the companies.

Lou Glazer is president and co-founder of Michigan Future. He says companies should take the responsibility making jobs more attractive.

“When you look at the package employers have put together to attract people to the industry, it ain’t so great,” says Glazer.

For cyclical industries like manufacturing and construction, when the employment package is not great, the employers likely get a small pool of entrants.

User: *Grant* / flickr

The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on September consumer confidence came in at 84.6, marking the highest level in 14 months.  

Improved outlook reflected by this estimate today could mean Americans feel more comfortable about their spending.

This fall, hiring at Kroger and Meijer are on the rise, too.

Kroger has announced it will hire 20,000 permanent positions at its supermarkets, including roughly 1,800 in Michigan.

These days, workplaces of all kinds from radio stations to corporate offices are filled with interns, mainly unpaid interns.

So imagine that you have such an intern in your office anywhere in this state. You think she, or he, is cute.

You ask what she does with her boyfriend at night, and begin touching her inappropriately. Finally, you suggest that if she wants a career, she should come to a meeting without her clothes on.

Can she sue you and the firm for sexual harassment?

The answer is … no.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The latest "report card" on jobs in America points to a country continuing to recover from the Great Recession.

The national unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, the lowest level since September 2008. What does the June jobs report tell us about Michigan? Where have we made gains and where are we still hurting?

University of Michigan labor economist Don Grimes joined us to review the June employment numbers. 

 

#155118225 / gettyimages.com

People seeking Ann Arbor city jobs will no longer need to disclose criminal convictions on their job application forms.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of Genesee County teenagers just completed a program that may help them land a summer job.

Teen Quest gives 14 to 19 year olds a chance to learn a variety of skills, from how to apply for a job to how to behave in the workplace.

Rhetta Hunyady is the Vice President of Education and Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.   She says it’s very important for young people to learn workplace skills.

“Teens who generally don’t have any work experience, while they’re a teen, really don’t fare well later in life,” says Hunyady.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit's unemployment is high, really high. It's nearly 18%. That’s almost double the Michigan rate of unemployment and Michigan is among the worst in the nation.

So, when a manufacturer hires hundreds of Detroit residents, it gets attention.

Dave Pinter / Flickr

It’s been a big week for Michigan’s auto industry.

A report from Business Leaders for Michigan revealed a plan to bring 100,000 automotive jobs to the sector. And General Motors announced the next CEO of the company will be Mary Barra. She’ll be the first female CEO in the car industry.

Daniel Howes, a business columnist from The Detroit News, talks with us about this week’s announcements.

Listen to the full interview above.

Shutdown might lead to state worker layoffs

Oct 15, 2013
The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

With the federal shutdown in its third week, the state is taking its first step toward laying off thousands of public employees.

Michigan budget officials are asking state departments to determine which programs need to be shut down if federal funding isn’t restored before November.
 
“We really didn’t think we would be at this point,” said Kurt Weiss, a spokesperson for the state budget office. “And neither did the rest of the states. They’re all in the same boat we are, across the country, which is putting together contingency plans to start shutting programs down – which is certainly not something that I would call commonplace.”

Weiss estimates 15,000 to 20,000 state workers would probably be affected.

“We do anticipate a pretty widespread impact across all state agencies that are going to have some employees that are either partially or fully federally funded,” said Weiss. “So these contingency plans are going to tell us which of those folks need to stay home come November 1st.”

Weiss says programs and workers that help Michigan’s poorest residents receive a disproportionate amount of federal dollars. He says agencies such as the state Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be hardest hit if the shutdown lasts much longer.

http://www.richardclongworth.com/

When you hear the term “company town” you might think of DOW and Midland, Ford and Dearborn, Kellogg and Battle Creek, or Whirlpool and Benton Harbor. But too many cities in Michigan have realized just how dependent they are on a single industry when the major employer shuts its plant down - just think of GM and Flint, or the Ford plant in Monroe, or any other number of towns that have lost major employers during Michigan’s so-called lost decade.

Mid-sized and smaller towns have known for some time that they need to diversify the employment base, but that’s a job with a lot of obstacles.

George Erickcek, a senior regional analyst with the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and Richard Longworth, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of the book “Caught in the MiddleAmerica's Heartland in the Age of Globalism," joined us today.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan employers would no longer be able to ask on a job application if a person has been convicted of a felony.  That is if one state lawmaker has his way.

Research shows a criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a job callback or offer by nearly 50%.

To help change that, State Representative Fred Durhal of Detroit wants to ban employers from including a question about criminal convictions on job applications.

He says too often employers throw away job applications if the applicant checks the criminal conviction box.

gov.cbia.com

A state House committee this week will discuss whether to prevent local cities and towns in Michigan from passing laws requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave to their employees.

San Francisco, Seattle and several other major cities have passed ‘paid sick leave’ ordinances in recent years.  The intent is to protect people in low paying jobs, who stand to lose their job, if they try to take a sick day.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder was on hand to help celebrate as the Michigan Strategic Fund approved state-paid incentives to 14 new business projects.     

The governor said lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a skilled workforce should make incentives less necessary in the future. But he said state assistance still has to be part of the mix. 

New data show sharp decline in state union membership

Jan 24, 2013
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan unions lost nearly 42,000 members over the course of 2012, representing about 10 percent of the nationwide decline in total membership.

The data come from a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that shows the percentage of American workers in unions dipped to its lowest rate in more than 70 years.

David Shepardson of The Detroit News has more:

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