Tuscola County health care jobs up 34 percent since 2000

Danielle Blaine, director, public relations, Hills and Dales General Hospital, works with Stacy Frappart, an employee in the registration area of the hospital. Hills and Dales is undergoing a $6 million renovation that begins next year and is a result of increased demand for its services. (Photo by John Cook)
Danielle Blaine, director, public relations, Hills and Dales General Hospital, works with Stacy Frappart, an employee in the registration area of the hospital. Hills and Dales is undergoing a $6 million renovation that begins next year and is a result of increased demand for its services. (Photo by John Cook)

Agriculture may be the lifeblood of the region, but health care is king when it comes to Tuscola County’s job growth – increasing 34 percent since 2000.

According to the Michigan Department of Management, Technology & Budget, the number of healthcare jobs in Tuscola County increased by 400, or 34 percent, during the 2000-2014 period (the most recent figures available). By comparison, Huron County increased by 85, or 5.5 percent, during the same timeframe.

Numbers provided by Tuscola County show Caro Regional Center, Caro Community Hospital, and Hills & Dales in Cass City among the top employers who have seen consistent growth.

The increase in health care jobs is the highlight of the period that The Advertiser examined as Tuscola County unemployment rates – on the surface – appear to be approaching the lowest levels since 2000 at 4.5 percent (figures do not include those who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits).

“Unemployment rates are definitely below the 2000 annual averages,” said Kevin Doyle, Economic Analyst, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. “But I also think it’s important to contextualize those with where employment and labor force numbers each stand.” (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the Nov. 24, 2016 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read in its entirety here.)

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