See our other posts on the top jobs in various states.
In this post we want to explore the top jobs in Michigan for 2012 — the highest-paying, fastest-growing, most concentrated jobs since 2009. Using Analyst (EMSI’s web-based labor market analysis tool), we’ll study labor market data from EMSI’s 2012.1 Covered Employment release, which is drawn from 80+ state and federal data sources.
Michigan currently has about 3.9 million jobs, and the latest estimate puts unemployment around 435,000. Average earnings for Michigan employees are $45K.
Since 2009, jobs have grown by 0.6%, an increase of about 23,000 jobs. This is actually far more impressive than it looks, considering the giant smack Michigan’s economy received during the recession. As USA Today notes, Michigan’s rebound is led by the auto industry:
Ever since General Motors and Chrysler Group emerged from managed bankruptcies in 2009, automakers [have] been coming back in a way that has allowed Michigan to add 151,000 jobs.
On top of that, the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, using Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has observed that Michigan is one of the top five states in terms of job growth during the post-recessionary expansion period.
Most of the jobs that top $60/hour are related to healthcare (SOC code 29). Surgeons ($92.11 median hourly wage), oral & maxillofacial surgeons ($91.42), and obstetricians & gynecologists ($86.16) pay the highest. Curiously, two healthcare occupations are in significant decline: oral & maxillofacial surgeons (-26%) and orthodontists (-35%). We don’t see this that often with healthcare jobs. (Compare with the growing healthcare occupations in California and Texas.)
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We’ll look at job growth from a couple different angles. One is how many jobs have been added to an occupation since 2009, and the other is how much an occupation has grown proportionately. For this analysis, we’ll filter for occupations that pay above $25/hour and employ 1,000+ workers. (If we didn’t, it’d be funeral attendants with 95% growth that would top our charts, but their $11/hour wage isn’t exactly what we’re looking for). We’re also excluding educational jobs.
So let’s start with the occupations that have added the most jobs since 2009.
Registered nurses has added over 6,000 new jobs — almost 10 times that of any other occupation on the chart. And again, we see a number of healthcare jobs, including dental hygienists (+627 new jobs), physicians & surgeons, all other (+550), and family & general practitioners (+479).
Mechanical engineers shows the second highest growth with almost 2,000 new jobs since 2009, followed by management analysts (+796). We should also pay attention to network systems & data communications analysts (+676). As we note in a recent blog post, this occupation has had rapid national growth over the past 10 years — 64% since 2002. We’re not surprised to see some solid growth in Michigan.
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Now here we might all go “huh?” The occupation with the greatest proportionate growth is gaming supervisors, of all things (30%). What exactly do gaming supervisors do? According to the BLS, they supervise gaming operations and personnel, circle the tables, explain the rules of the game — basically, make sure that the workers are doing their jobs and that the casino guests are happy. (Side note: the casino hotel industry has shot up from 36 jobs in 2009 to nearly 5,000 in 2012, a herculean 13,000%.)
Other growing occupations include family & general practitioners (13%), network systems & data communications analysts (13%), and physician assistants (13%).
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Now to explore the most concentrated jobs in Michigan. We measure concentration or specialization in terms of location quotient (LQ). The national average is 1.0, so anything above 1.0 signifies uniqueness for that particular job in its region. The higher the LQ, the more compelling that job is for the state. (Click here for the full scoop on LQ.) Again, we’re keeping ourselves to jobs that employ 1,000+, and we’re not counting education jobs.
Model makers, metal & plastic (6.87 LQ), tool & die makers (5.52), commercial & industrial designers (5.14), and forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal & plastic (4.98) are the most concentrated in the state. Note that over half the jobs in this table are related to either production (SOC code 51) or architecture & engineering (SOC code 17).
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So what are the top jobs in Michigan when we consider pay, growth, and concentration? Registered nurses definitely stands out for growth. Family & general practitioners boasts high wages, good growth, and decent concentration, and the same goes for physician assistants, although it isn’t quite as flashy on the dollar side. Other jobs to watch are mechanical engineers and network systems & data communications analysts. Okay, and gaming supervisors might also be worth a peek if you’re into watching people work those one-armed bandits.