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Oakland University SBA Data Center

Changes in SE Michigan & National Employment from Before and After the Recession

Examining how sectors of the economy have performed since the recession start and recession end will identify which sectors have rebounded and show strength, and those that lag. Also, we will be able to distinguish how employment change in SE Michigan compares to employment changes nationally.

The two tables below show by sector the percent change in employment in SE Michigan and the U.S. as a whole from recession start (2007 - present) and recession end (2009 - Present).

In SE Michigan, two sectors that did not experience employment growth since the recession:

  • Information: -1.09%
  • Other Services: -3.85%

Nationally all sectors have grown, but employment levels in most sectors, nationally and in SE Michigan, are still substantially below their pre-recession levels.

The national sectors that are still substantially below their pre-recession levels are:

  • Goods Producing: -10.67%
  • Manufacturing: -10.45%
  • Information: -6.85%
  • Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing: -5.0%

The national sectors that have surpassed their pre-recession levels are:

  • Professional & Technical Services: 12.36%
  • Professional & Business Services: 11.04%
  • Education & Health Services: 18.62%
  • Leisure and Hospitality: 13.41%

Similarly in SE Michigan, these sectors have all surpassed their pre-recession levels:

  • Professional & Technical Services: 19.55%
  • Professional & Business Services: 6.07%
  • Education & Health Services: 11.65%
  • Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing: 2.5%

The SE Michigan sectors that are still substantially below their pre-recession levels are:

  • Information: -8.42%
  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturing: -18.97%
  • Other Services: -11.53%

In SE Michigan several sectors have performed better since the recession end than the national sectors, these are:
  • Goods Producing: 37.24% > 10.41%
  • Manufacturing: 36.74% > 7.33%
  • Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing: 58.28% > 37.52%
  • Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services: 34.64% > 18.07%
  • Professional and Business Services: 27.0% > 21.66%
  • Financial Activities: 15.48% > 5.85%

The strength of these sectors implies that the recovery in SE Michigan has been broad based. Traditionally, Manufacturing and Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing have been very strong sectors for employment in SE Michigan and their recovery is a good sign for the economic activity in the area, but it is the growth of Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services and Professional Business Services that truly signals an economic recovery. If we focus on Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services we can see that in SE Michigan employment levels have grown at a rate that is almost double of the national sector. Jobs in this sector require some sort of technical or professional knowledge and most pay high wages relative to the other sectors. The growth in this sector means that SE Michigan has a labor force that can accommodate this sector and that personal income will grow at a higher rate than if it would with growth in another sector.

Eldari Gogiashvili, Research Assistant

Jonathan Silberman, PhD


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