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Macomb County sees 7th year of job growth

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

The number of people working in Macomb County has increased for the seventh consecutive year and it now has the highest level of employment in 15 years, county officials said.

In July, the Macomb gained 3,286 jobs, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 409,872 county residents were employed.

County officials say the employment rate is the highest its been since 2001 when 412,364 people in the county had jobs. The number of residents employed reached its lowest point around 2010, when only about 350,000 people were working.

County executive Mark Hackel credited the job growth to new sectors of mobility, aerospace, life sciences, information technology, defense and homeland security.

“These record-breaking numbers not only look great on paper but are essential to the vitality of our families in our communities,” Hackel said in a statement.

Just like the rest of the state, Macomb County has rebounded from the Great Recession and now has an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent, compared to the state’s 4.5 percent. Unemployment in Macomb reached as high as 18.3 percent in 2009.

The county’s population in July 2015 was 864,840, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kurt Rankin, an economist for the PNC Financial Services Group, said the growth in auto sales has been a large contributor to job creation in Macomb County.

“It’s not a shock and it does seem to be sustainable because it’s tied to real economic growth,” he said.

Though Rankin doesn’t expect vehicle sales to continue to reach record highs, local economies tied to the auto industry should remain stable, he said.

Macomb County has gained 15,036 jobs so far this year, the county’s report says.

nterry@detroitnews.com

313-222-6793

@NicquelTerry