A report from the government on state and regional employment data confirms what employers are feeling. In 2010, there were 143,000 people in the tri-county area. That number went down to 129,000 as of August 2016 because of a report from Kinexus Group.
The long term, or what will happen in the future, is what we are really concerned about. That’s why Al Pscholka, vice president of public relations and government affairs at Kinexus, said that. Kinexus has been looking at how a smaller workforce, an aging workforce, and lower educational attainment can affect a person’s work.
The workforce is still 3,500-5,000 people less than it was before the pandemic. He said.
In the tri-county area, there were fewer people who had a job in August than in July. There were 1% more people who didn’t have a job. This is more than 100 people.
Since the spring, when we saw a 4.3% decrease in labor force participation, it has improved. Now, our decrease is only 2.7%. That being said, the recovery rate is slower now than it was in May of this year.
The unemployment rate for the three counties went down. This is less than it was in the past. The unemployment rate in the tri-county region is higher than it is for the state. It’s because there are more people here who are looking for work. An agency is trying to build a “pipeline” for talent. That way, employers can find workers, and students can find jobs.
The report said that there are 91 percent more openings for jobs between pre-COVID and today
Lily Brewer, who works for Michigan Works Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, said that now is the best time for people to train. There are a lot of training funds available. You can find out about them just by clicking on the link. Starting November 1, you have to register with a Michigan Works office in your county to start getting benefits from unemployment agencies.
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Michigan Works can help people find a job. They have child care, expungements, and vocational training. Michigan Works helps with transportation too. They helped about 70,000 people during the pandemic.
Pscholka said that “Employers can apply for grants to train their staff. They can train new skills, or they can retrain some of the staff.”
State and regional data
Ending the extended COVID-19 unemployment benefits did not have a big effect on the labor force. It was just a small change that did not solve all of our problems. “We did not see a lot of workers come to our state after the extended unemployment benefits ended,” Pscholka said.
The data for the regional labor force only goes up until August, when the benefit ended. In the past, there were 4.9 million people who had jobs in the state. But now, there are only 4.7 million people who have a job. In September 2021, Michigan saw some increase in the number of people working. Two-thirds of this increase was in the Detroit MSA.
The report said that from July to December 2020, Detroit and other areas had the same number of people working. Then the unemployment benefits were extended, and in two months, Detroit’s labor force levels dropped 5.6 index points. The report takes a look at four different types of jobs in the tri-county area. They are manufacturing, health care, leisure and hospitality, and agribusiness.
“There is some good news when it comes to manufacturing,” he said. “This may be because the economy is doing better in some areas than others.” Despite supply chain problems, the manufacturing industry is still growing. There are still opportunities in manufacturing. Mr. Pscholka said this. People who work in health care are still 6-7% less than before the pandemic. This has been going on since the beginning of the pandemic.
People in leisure and hospitality are struggling. The ones who work there are leaving the industry. There are 2,500 fewer employees working there now than before.
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