According to some figures and seeming trends, there’s a revival in the jobs scene in the Midwest, and much of it owes to improvement in traditional categories that some pundits had counted out a long time ago.
The Business Week article after the link points to industries like heavy equipment, mining and other “Rust Belt” mainstays as having seen renewal over recent months and years, with an attendant increase in jobs. That’s on the heels of the long, seemingly inexorable decrease seen in these sectors over the past decade and more – Ohio, for example, lost 419,400 such jobs from 1999 to 2009, but gained back 72,400 of them last year. Michigan regained 66,000 jobs in 2011…which was the first positive gain there since the turn of the century.
Banks are back to lending in some of the states cited, and businesses are investing in their future in these communities. Which may signal a lasting turnabout.
“We’ve always heard this Rust Belt thing about our region, even just a few years ago,” said Steve Steinour, CEO of Huntington Bancshares Inc., speaking of the disparaging image of closed factories and declining industry. “But you don’t hear it so much now, and we might not have to hear it much in the future.”
Here’s hoping that informed policymakers and business leaders can keep this trend on-course!