The Michigan Works! (Berrien-Cass-Van Buren) workforce board has unveiled a study detailing the impacts of the auto manufacturing decline in southwest Michigan, particularly its tri-county service region. Playing off a 2009 Center for Automotive Research report, Michigan Works! used EMSI labor market data and survey information to 1) identify area manufacturers that produce parts for the auto industry, and 2) estimate how many tri-county workers will be affected by the downturn in the next year-plus.
Some of the findings:
More than a third (36.1%) of all manufacturing in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties is made up of automotive product manufacturing, compared to 18.6% for the nation and 47.4% for Michigan as a whole.
In the best case scenario, just over 1,200 local jobs will be lost in the next 18 months; the worst case scenario calls for more than 8,300 layoffs.
Surveyed employers say nearly half of the layoffs will come in the next six months.