When thinking about the top industries in Michigan, auto manufacturing almost immediately leaps to mind – as do visuals of blue-collar workers in United States factories pumping out the latest offerings from Ford and General Motors. It’s an image of American innovation and knowhow, and though the industry looks different today than it did when American cars dominated the market, the auto industry still remains one of the strongest parts of Michigan’s economy.
But cars aren’t all Michigan produces. As Gov. Rick Snyder wrote in 2013, “Just as the auto industry has undergone a massive restructuring
, Michigan has taken dramatic steps to reinvent itself.” Here are five of the strongest industries in Michigan that continue to fuel the economy.
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1. Automobile Industry
It’s hard to avoid the fact that cars still are one of Michigan’s biggest attributes, and after much of the industry was bailed out earlier this century, companies like Ford have made a tremendous comeback. As President Barack Obama said in January 2015
, “Over the past five years, this industry created about 500,000 new jobs. Last year, American autoworkers churned out cars faster than any year since 2005...After more than a century since Henry Ford introduced the moving assembly line, you’re reinventing it – one production line for gas, electric, hybrid, plug-in vehicles. That’s the first in the world, right here in Wayne, Michigan."
2. Advanced Manufacturing
While Detroit will always be seen as one of the centers of the automotive industry, one non-profit group recently listed the city as one of the best in creating advanced manufacturing and new engineering jobs. “Detroit has been the poster child for industrial decline for so long that many have missed the quiet renaissance of the city’s manufacturing sector,” the group, Change the Equation, said in November 2014
. “The advanced manufacturing jobs we examined have grown 37 percent since 2009, driven, no doubt, by the auto industry's recent return from the dead.”
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3. Food and Agriculture
According to Michigan State University
, the food and agriculture business is one of the top-three industries in Michigan. As Snyder said in October 2014, “Michigan’s food and agriculture businesses have helped lay the foundation for our economic turnaround. They recognize the value of investing in their communities and creating hometown jobs.”
4. Freshwater Technology and Services
Farming and advanced manufacturing are so important to the state, and those industries are in need of clean water. According to the Associated Press, Michigan is one of the nation’s top developers of freshwater technology.
This increased recognition of these services’ importance comes in part due to the University Research Corridor – made up the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State University, all of which conduct extensive research on the matter.
5. Christmas Trees
Although agriculture is one of Michigan’s top industries, the state produces grandly in at least one niche market that one might not expect. That would be the growing of Christmas trees. According to the University of Illinois, Michigan ranks third in the country in real Christmas trees grown
but cultivates a wider variety of Christmas tree than any other state.
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