The birthplace of the automotive industry and the epicenter of American manufacturing for decades has a new economic driver: healthcare.
A report by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) concludes that healthcare was the biggest private-sector employer in the Wolverine State in 2010, the most recent year for which data was available. The sector employs more than 554,000 residents, including more than 220,000 hospital workers, providing more than $52 billion in annual wages and benefits. Another 524,100 jobs are created indirectly from the healthcare sector.
By comparison, education, the second-biggest employer, provided about 413,000 jobs. Automotive manufacturing was a distant third, providing about 125,000 jobs, according to the report.
The healthcare job numbers were up slightly compared to the 2009 data, when Michigan provided 546,000 jobs and about $51 billion in annual wages.
In particular, Southeast Michigan, which includes Detroit and Flint--once the two biggest automaking cities in the world--account for the largest number of healthcare jobs, including 289,714 direct positions and another 271,729 indirect jobs, noted the MHA.
Altogether, healthcare workers contributed about $7.4 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes in 2010.