Help Wanted! More Companies Hiring

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If you're looking for a job, now may be the best time to find one in Mid-Michigan.

"I think it's exciting for Lansing," said Elaine DeVlieger.

DeVlieger is the Area Manager of Manpower, Inc. and believes a recent survey conducted by her company means Lansing's economy could be on its way back up. It shows 37% of companies in the area say they'll expand this quarter with just 17% saying they'll downsize.

That's compared to a 10% increase and a 20% decrease last quarter. Among the industries with the most available jobs are construction, manufacturing, and health-care.

"We've done a great job in our city of working with those displaced workers and workers that are now unemployed and making them re-employable," DeVlieger added.

In other words, the work force is becoming more diverse. Many are entering booming fields like information technology and health-care... while manufacturers like Demmer and Spartan motors expand.

"Things are not as bad as they're often portrayed," said Kate Tykocki of Capital Area Michigan Works. "In this region we have a lot of experienced workers and that experience is a great asset for employees."

But what does that mean for Michigan's economy? We went to MSU Economics Professor Charles Ballard for the answer.

"Certainly this is good news," he said. "More people working means they've got more income that they spend at the grocery store, the hardware store, the movie theater and you can have ripple effects that can be beneficial."

But Ballard cautions the spike in jobs could be temporary due to seasonal employment like construction. He adds it could be a while before we see any real change in the economy.

"We will probably continue to have employment rates that are noticeably above the national average for the rest of this year and through 2008."

Still, Michigan Works says jobs are available if you're willing to work.

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