WIN Report Shows Strong Job Gains In SE Michigan

DETROIT — Southeast Michigan employment levels continued to rise in the third quarter, according to the latest labor market report compiled by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan.

The WIN report showed 15,000 people got jobs in the third quarter, and now 38,205 more people are working in the region than in the third quarter of 2014.

WIN said that through the first nine months of the year, 2015 is on track to have the region’s highest recorded employment since 2008. With more than 137,000 online job ads in the third quarter of 2015, postings also have reached another all-time high, substantially exceeding previous peaks.

Additionally, all nine counties in the WIN region saw an increase in help wanted postings from the second quarter to the third quarter, with the majority of the counties topping 10 percent growth in postings.

The nine counties in the WIN region are Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, Monroe, Washtenaw, Livingston, Genesee, Shiawassee and St. Clair.

The labor force also expanded by 28,179, outpacing employment gains and resulting in a net increase in unemployment, from the second quarter’s 5.8 percent to 6.3 percent in the third quarter.

Each year, quarters three and four tend to show the strongest employment growth — but WIN executive director Lisa Katz noted that “This quarter, a general labor market expansion outpaced the employment gains. More people in the labor market means a bigger talent base to meet the needs of growing employer demand, but it also raised the unemployment rate.”

For the last several quarters, the labor market has been holding steady. While this quarter saw a bump up in people working or looking for work, the available labor market remains lower than it was a year ago. Katz said,

“The region is following the national trend of a stagnant labor force,” Katz said. “Without more workers entering the market, there could be greater pressure on wages, but employers also could be forced to go without needed talent, forego business opportunities, or rely on technology to boost productivity of the current workforce.”

During the third quarter, 70 percent of total job posting growth in the region occurred in WIN-analyzed job clusters, an increase from the 52 percent of regional posting increases in the second quarter.

Total postings in the WIN clusters included:
• Retail and Hospitality – 27,672 postings
• IT – 20,553 postings
• Health Care – 16,082 postings
• Engineers and Designers – 11,301 postings
• Skilled Trades and Technicians – 4,490 postings

The remaining 30 percent of posting activity increases occurred in occupations not included in WIN’s commonly tracked occupational clusters. The most notable growth in job postings outside of the WIN clusters occurred in:
• Business management (general managers, business operations, human resources)
• Transportation, distribution, and logistics (truck drivers, materials movers)
• Financial management (auditors, finance specialists, bookkeepers)

The top in-demand jobs included:
• Software Developers, Applications – 6,679 postings
• Registered Nurses – 5,092 postings
• Retail Salespersons – 4,198 postings
• Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 3,990 postings
• Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing (except technical and scientific products) – 3,471 postings

During the third quarter, WIN said notable trends included:
• Demand for software developers outpaced all other jobs with 6,679 job postings in the third quarter, up from 5,649 postings in the second quarter, an 18.2 percent increase
• Postings for registered nurses increased 12.7 percent to 5,092 in the third quarter from 4,519 in the second quarter, marking yet another new high for the occupation
• Demand for truck drivers dropped 2.6 percent from 4,097 postings in the second quarter to 3,990 in the third quarter, falling from third place to fourth in rank of most in-demand positions
• Customer service representatives increased in employer demand by 21.9 percent, growing from 2,387 postings in the second quarter to 2,909 postings in the third quarter

The full report can be viewed at:

WIN is a collaborative effort between nine community colleges and seven Michigan Works Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need.

The colleges involved are Henry Ford College, Macomb Community College, Monroe County Community College, Mott Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, St. Clair County Community College, Washtenaw Community College and the Wayne County Community College District. The Michigan Works agencies involved cover the same nine-county territory.

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