Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Manufacturing brings jobs back to Rust Belt

After years of losing jobs to lower-cost, overseas operations, several Rust Belt states are seeing a resurgence of manufacturing, surprisingly led by Michigan.

In the past three years, Michigan has gained nearly 70,000 manufacturing jobs, the most of any state, according to the latest government figures. Indiana and Ohio followed, with each gaining some 50,000 jobs.

Nationwide, more than a half-million manufacturing jobs have been created since the end of 2009. Good news, to be sure, but still not enough to make up for the more than 2 million jobs the sector lost during the 2007-2009 recession. Today, almost 12 million Americans work in manufacturing, down from a peak of 19.6 million in 1979.

The auto industry, helped by the government bailout, continues to be the driving factor in Michigan's turnaround. Ford Motor Co., for example, last month announced plans to hire 2,200 more workers in the United States this year, as part of its commitment to invest $16 billion in its U.S. operations by 2015. That includes bringing back about 1,000 jobs last year from countries like Japan and Mexico to states like Michigan and Ohio.

The talk these days is about "insourcing," or bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. And it's not just happening in Michigan.

Whirlpool has opened new plants in Tennessee and Ohio. General Electric opened its first new manufacturing plant in more than 50 years in Louisville, Ky., as part of its promise to spend $1 billion and create 1,300 American jobs by 2014. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook last year pledged that one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured in the United States.

Changes in the global economy, including higher oil prices and the natural gas boom that makes it cheaper to fuel a factory, are among the reasons for what the Atlantic last month called an "insourcing boom."

In Michigan's case, a dramatic overhaul of the tax system also made the state more business-friendly, said Mike Johnston, vice president of government affairs at the Michigan Manufacturers Association. The state last year ended the tax on industrial machinery, and in 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder eliminated the unpopular "Michigan Business Tax," which amounted to a 22 percent surcharge on top of corporate income and gross receipts taxes that corporations paid.

Johnson says that Michigan's becoming a "right-to-work" state this year, making it harder for unions to organize workers, also will make the state more attractive to employers.

After having lost a whopping quarter of all its jobs since 2005, Michigan views manufacturing as vital to its economy despite the significant loss of those jobs. Nearly one of every six private-sector jobs is in manufacturing, according to a new report from the state's Workforce Development Agency.

By sheer numbers, California, not Michigan, lost the most manufacturing jobs in the two years after the recession started in 2007, shedding 209,000 jobs. Ohio came in second, losing nearly 150,000. That could be because Michigan was in a recession years before the national downturn. The state has lost more than 170,000 jobs since 2005.

Comments
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Published: 02/24/18
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18
Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

VALRICO — During his final few days, 19-year-old Dustin Snyder moved to a hospice house, surrounded himself with belongings from home, swam in a pool and visited the beach in Ruskin.Wherever he went, the terminally ill Valrico man had family beside h...
Published: 02/23/18
Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Published: 02/23/18

Tampa lawyer gets 27 months in federal prison for insider trading

Tampa lawyer Walter "Chet’’ Little was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for engaging in an insider trading scheme that reaped him and a friend profits totaling nearly $1 million.According to federal authorities, Little accessed comp...
Published: 02/23/18
More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

Three major companies — Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, and the cybersecurity giant Symantec — have ended co-branding partnerships with the National Rifle Association as a #BoycottNRA social media movement picks up steam.Enterprise...
Published: 02/23/18
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Published: 02/23/18
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Published: 02/23/18
BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

Millions of BB&T customers were unable to access their accounts after a service outage which the bank blames on an equipment malfunction. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank posted a statement on its Twitter page saying the problem persiste...
Published: 02/23/18
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Published: 02/23/18