By PATTY RAMUS
News Staff Writer
According to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, total employment dropped by 68,000 and unemployment rose by 47,000 in December 2008.
In December the state's seasonally adjusted rate jumped upward to 10.6 percent. Michigan's December 2008 jobless rate was3.2 percent above the state's December 2007 rate of 7.4 percent.
Experts expect a similar trend to continue through 2009.
The University of Michigan is predicting a loss of more than 100,000 jobs this year in Michigan with the unemployment rate rising to 11 percent by the end of 2009. The national unemployment rate is expected to hit 8 percent.
"The dominant factor is the anticipated loss of jobs in the auto industry, the Detroit three. The area of the state that will take the hardest hit is Southeast Michigan including Lansing, Saginaw, Bay City, that have supplier components for the Big Three," said Don Grimes, U-M senior research specialist.
Grimes said the economists believe there will be some turnaround during the summer quarter with positive numbers, but it will be too small to generate jobs or a significant number of jobs.
"The job market situation is still going to be pretty bleak even when the (gross domestic product) numbers turn positive. It's just going to be too weak of growth to generate many jobs," he said.
Mary Davis, a Michigan Works employment services employee, said categorically the winter season in Northeast Michigan is the slowest time of the year for job postings. There are fewer job postings now, but there hasn't been a huge drop. Summer will tell the real story about the job outlook because that's when businesses tend to hire as they get ready for the season.
"We have a significant more number of layoffs to years passed," she said.
The majority of postings currently are temporary positions, including enumerators for the 2010 Census, Davis said.
In Northeast Michigan, DLEG is projecting an 11.1 percent decrease in wood products manufacturing by 2014. This equates to about 120 jobs. DLEG's 10-year projection is based on 2004 employment statistics, said Konrad Lepecki, DLEG senior research specialist.
Despite the projected job loss predictions, some industries are expected to see growth by 2014 in Northeast Michigan.
Lepecki said ambulatory health services are expected to grow by 25.8 percent, an increase of 310 jobs. These types of jobs include medical assistants, physician assistants, physical therapists, dental hygienist, chiropractor and registered nurses. Education and health services are expected to grow by 12.7 percent, an increase of 1,350 jobs.
Professional business services jobs, which include scientific and technical services, management of companies and enterprises and administrative support services, are expected to increase by 16.2 percent, an increase of 320 people.
Statewide education and health services are expected to see growth by 12.6 percent or 119,710 jobs with professional and business services growing by 19.8 percent or 115,850 jobs in 2014, Lepecki said.
Grimes said the state also will see growth in manufacturing of medical equipment, private education services and food processing industries. He's expecting to see a decrease in the financial sector, construction and real estate. Tourism will take a hit as people are worried about their jobs.
Patty Ramus can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5687.