I thought it was a long time ago. And there is some truth to that. The American automobile industry peaked back in the 1960’s. But that did not mean that employment overall peaked as well. Consider this
… (T)he Asian financial crisis of 1997 … caused the value of the dollar to rise. Exports from the United States (see: cars) suffered abroad while imports became more attractive to consumers. From 1998 to 2010 Michigan lost 45 percent of its manufacturing jobs—912,000 to 499,000—while Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana lost over 30 percent. “Manufacturing jobs just went into a freefall,” says Pendall. “They dropped by about 35 percent in just a decade—that was huge.”
that was not that long ago. In the last few years, things have actually started to improve. The problem is not so much a lack of jobs, but a lack of people to fill them. The great lakes region needs an infusion of young people.