Energy, manufacturing drive Great Lakes economic revival

By Joel Kotkin, for Forbes

Sep 03, 2015

Every Great Lakes state except for Illinois now has an unemployment rate below the national average, a stunning reversal from previous decades.

The energy hotbeds of Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota may have posted the strongest employment growth since 2007, and were among the first states to gain back all the jobs lost in the recession. But a group of less heralded places from Minnesota to western Pennsylvania have also enjoyed a considerable revival, as energy, manufacturing, logistics and other basic industries have rebounded.

One clear key to improving conditions is the revival of America’s industrial economy. Following a generation of falling employment, the sector has been on something of a rebound since 2010, adding some 855,000 jobs.

Ironically the state most popularly associated with long-term economic decline, Michigan, has been lauded in a Pew study as perhaps the ”biggest success story.” From the state’s nadir of household employment in November 2009 through this July, the Wolverine State has added 302,543 jobs, a 7.2% increase.

Read more about the Great Lakes industrial comeback.

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