Wow, how far we have come.

Now it appears we may not have enough people to fill the open jobs.  I just read an article on where a University of Michigan economist, Don Grimes, believes that Michigan could be en route to a labor shortage.  This is due to the fact that Michigan’s economy continues to improve as Michigan’s population ages.

Not sure the aging point really helps us.

On one level, if true, this is good news.  That should translate into higher wages.

Our problem in Michigan is we only have 60.2% of working age adults who are either working or actively looking for jobs in April.  This rate is one of the lowest rates in the country, where Michigan ranks 41st in the nation.

This is not a good trend by any means for the long term economic health for Michigan.

That labor participation rate of 60.2% in Michigan is now lower that at any point during the Great Recession in 2009.

Again, that number is not good news.

U of M economist Don Grimes was quoted as saying "Yes, we are much closer to labor shortages, and for some industries and occupations, it is already causing real wages and hours worked to increase."

On the other side, a state of Michigan economic and labor market analyst said he's “seen little evidence of broad labor shortages so far, even in the booming skilled trades sector.”  He did go on to say "However, Michigan's labor market only started to really heat up in the third quarter of 2014, and we will be watching this very closely over the course of 2015."

I hope we can get to a position when we need more people to fill these open jobs.  Better that we have too many jobs than not enough.

We do need to work on raising our labor participation rate for the long term health of Michigan.

Let’s discuss this tomorrow (Monday) on my show The Live with Renk  show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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