Employment Situation Improving in Livingston County

12/5/13 – The job front is looking good in Livingston County with prospects for growth in a number of sectors in 2014. That’s according to Livingston County Michigan Works Director Bill Sleight who says one bit of encouraging news is that the number of people employed in the county has increased by over 2,000 in the last year. He says they’re seeing more people entering the labor market now that the economy is improving and the unemployment rate has held fairly steady in Livingston County over the year. He says it’s tracking a little higher than the national rate but still lower than the state rate, although all appear to be headed in the same direction. He says data shows the county has regained most jobs lost during the recession, and done so a little faster than some surrounding counties, marking gradual but noticeable improvement. Since many people that reside in Livingston County actually work outside of it, Sleight says they take a much broader regional look at the labor market. The largest number of local job openings are in the retail sector but he says there’s been growth in the advanced manufacturing field, which has been strong in all of southeast Michigan. He says the healthcare sector has held steady and is actually one of the few economic clusters that never stopped growing, even during the downturn. Information Technology jobs have been growing locally but more so regionally and Sleight says they’re just beginning to see some change in construction and building trades, which has been a lagging industry for a number of years. He says they’ll be monitoring that over the next year but feels it will be the next real growth sector in the county. Sleight adds that Michigan Works has really shifted gears from a few years ago when the economy was weak to now focus training only where there are jobs and careers with immediate demand and guide people into those. Sleight says he’s very positive about prospects for 2014 and feels it will be a strong year for Livingston County. (JM)

Web Link: http://www.lcmw.org

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