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New High-Tech Auto Jobs Could Lower Unemployment to 5 Percent by 2016

A new report by the University of Michigan underscores the importance of post-high school training.

As Michigan's auto industry is going high tech, unemployment is dropping in the Tri County area. (Patch file photo)
As Michigan's auto industry is going high tech, unemployment is dropping in the Tri County area. (Patch file photo)

New high-tech jobs in Oakland County helped brighten the economy throughout southeast Michigan over the past year, a new economic report shows.

The report by University of Michigan economists underscores the importance of post-high school education as the auto industry goes high-tech, the Detroit Free Press reports. Drop-outs won’t be able to fill the new jobs being created, George Fulton, an economist with U-M’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, said last week.

“Oakland’s recovery is supported by an expanding U.S. economy, a recovering local housing sector and increasing vehicle sales, with the Detroit Three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) fully participating,” Fultons said.

The report was commissioned by Oakland County.

The county created 65,000 new jobs over the past three years and expects to add another 43,000 through 2016. That could bring the unemployment rate to 5 percent, below the national average of about 6.7 percent.

March unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) rates in the tri-county area are:

  • Oakland County – 6.9 percent, the 12th lowest among Michigan’s 83 counties

  • Macomb County – 8.3 percent, the 27th lowest in Michigan

  • Wayne County – 9.1 percent, the 37th lowest in Michigan

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