Report: Michigan Ranks Third in Nation for Work Force Expansion; First in Midwest

MICHIGAN — New data from the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics ranks Michigan Number 3 in the nation and first in the Midwest in percentage of workers added to the workforce, with a 2.6% growth in the last six months. The state also ranks No. 4 in the nation, No. 1 in the Midwest in total workers added to the workforce, with over 124,000 workers added in the last six months.  

The data indicates a reversing trend from previous decades. From 2005 to 2018, Michigan’s workforce was one of the five states with the largest decline in workforce participation. This new recognition also comes on the heels of another great achievement, as the state announced its lowest unemployment rate in 23 years earlier this summer.  

“2023 has been a historic year for our state and we are thrilled to see that our efforts to build on Michigan’s economic competitiveness are already paying off,” said Governor Whitmer in a statement. “This year, we have continued to strengthen our state’s workforce and economy by investing in talent and community revitalization, producing thousands of new jobs in key industries and ensuring entrepreneurs and businesses have the tools they need to succeed.”  

The report seems to validate efforts by Governor Whitmer and majority Democrats in the House and Senate who made record investments in housing and community revitalization projects, including a bill that provides $150 million in Housing and Community Development Funds, $100 million in Revitalization and Placemaking Grants, $75 million in SmartZones, and additional support for apprenticeship expansionThe signing marked the earliest a bill had been signed in a new term since 1947.  

Michigan also recently unveiled ‘Make it in Michigan’ this summer, a comprehensive economic strategy to keep winning projects that bring manufacturing and supply chains home, invest in people so they can pursue their potential from pre-K through postsecondary, and revitalize places in every region of the state to make them more attractive places to live, work, and invest.  

Michigan legislators also reacted to the news:

“Michigan’s talented workforce has and continues to be the envy of the world, and that’s because of our combination of dedication, excellence and grit,” said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “I’m happy — but not surprised — that workforce participation is on the rise. The economy is growing across sectors while our communities remain close-knit and comfortable places to put down roots. We’ve been saying for years that Michigan is the best place to build a career and raise a family, and now the numbers agree with us, too!”

“These numbers back up what we already know — Michigan’s positive economic momentum is undeniable,” said state Representative Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield), chair of the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee. “I look forward to building on these successes and continuing to show the nation and the world that Michigan is open for business.”

“Michigan workers and families win with a growing economy,” said state Representative Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek). “These accomplishments indicate a brighter, more prosperous future for our state.” 

In the press release from the Governor, it was also pointed out that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Michigan’s workforce system is currently No. 1 in the nation for helping those who have lost their job get re-employed.  

In 2022, LEO’s Office of Employment and Training (E&T) served nearly 37,000 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to remove barriers and obtain or maintain employment. Michigan is also top 10 in the nation for registered apprenticeships, with over 16,500 current active registered apprentices across the state.  


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