Economy
4:11 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Boom in domestic energy production helping some industries, but Michigan's jobless rate rises

Manufacturers are taking advantage of lower domestic oil and gas prices, and many of them are using those cost savings to hire more workers.

The boom in domestic oil and natural gas production is fueling growth in manufacturing across the country and especially in urban areas, according to a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“Our report forecasts through 2020, energy-intensive manufacturing employment will expand by more than 1% annually nationwide … with 72% of those jobs going to U.S. metro areas,” says Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, who chairs the committee that released the report.

According to the report, employment in steel, iron and machinery industries increased by 10% between 2010 and 2012.

Bernero says there are still people who need jobs and “advanced manufacturing is the ticket."

And in Michigan, there are more people looking for work.

Michigan's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rose 0.4 percentage points in the latest monthly report, to 8.1%.

The Department of Technology, Management & Budget released regional joblessness figures for January today.

The statewide rate in January is down from 9.9% one year earlier.

The department says January's unemployment rates ranged from a low of 5% in the Ann Arbor region, to a high of 13.2% in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. It says the rate was 8.5% in the populous Detroit area.

The state says weather typically drives up unemployment in winter months.