Green jobs grow again after dip

Capital New Service
LANSING — After losing 3 percent of its “green” jobs a year earlier, Michigan became one of the fastest-growing states for environmental employment last year. According to Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national organization of business leaders, Michigan was among the top 10 states for environmental job growth in 2012, adding 19 projects and about 3,700 jobs. That brings the total to more than 86,000. The report was a sign of good things to come not just in Michigan, but nationwide, said Hugh McDiarmid Jr., communications director of the Michigan Environment Council, a coalition of conservationist groups. The Environmental Entrepreneurs report estimated an increase of 110,000 green jobs throughout the U.S.

“Michigan has the manufacturing infrastructure, skilled workers and quality of life that will enable us to attract our share of this growing field,” McDiarmid said.

Craft beer brews economic growth

Capital News Service
LANSING – Want to boost Michigan’s job growth and economy? Treat yourself to a cold craft beer. Michigan’s craft beer industry grew by 20 percent in 2012, according to a “state of the industry” report from the Demeter Group Investment Bank of San Francisco. Michigan added 17 breweries last year, and outpaced the average national industry growth rate by 12 percent. New breweries opened in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Marquette and Lake Leelanau, for example.

Growth seen in alternative energy jobs

Capital News Service
LANSING –Michigan manufacturers employ 498,000 people, and more than 20,700 of them are in the alternative energy industry. According to the Michigan Manufacturers Association, these alternative energy production jobs account for 4.1 percent of all manufacturing jobs. The state Bureau of Labor Market Information counted less than 9,000 jobs in the alternative energy industry in 2009. The number of jobs grew by 133 percent in three years, partly because Michigan is home to the continent’s largest lithium ion battery manufacturer. The bureau found the wind energy industry is the biggest economic winner among renewable energy technologies.