Economists Predict Job Growth, Shift In Wayne County  
By Robert Ankeny 
(Crains Detroit  03-

Wayne County’s economy will add nearly 16,000 jobs over the next 2˝ years, including 2,400 in leisure and hospitality and 7,000 in business and professional services, two University of Michigan economists said today.

With a loss of about 2,900 jobs in manufacturing projected between 2003 and 2005, the short-run forecast signals a permanent shift in the Wayne County workplace, said George Fulton. He is an economist at the UM Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, part of the university's Business School and School of Social Work .

As recently as 2000, manufacturing companies in Wayne County employed 25,000 more workers than professional and business services. By 2006, the reverse will happen, with 25,000 more workers in service than manufacturing jobs, according to the forecast.

Almost all main manufacturing industries are expected to lose jobs through next year, except machinery and plastics products. But another goods-producing industry, construction, is expected to add 900 jobs over the next two years.

Overall, about 3,500 new jobs are expected in the second half of this year, followed by projected gains of 6,300 jobs during 2005 and 5,900 jobs the year after, Fulton said.

"The job growth projected through 2006 can be characterized as moderate, and although it is not robust, it is sustained — a welcome departure from the persistent job losses of the past several years," Fulton said. Wayne County has lost more than 50,000 jobs in the past three years.