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Expand chart
Data: BLS, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; Get the data; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Chris Canipe/Axios

Michigan has lost the most auto manufacturing jobs over the past 18 years, while auto manufacturing in southern states has flourished, according to an Axios analysis of federal jobs data.

The bottom line: Michigan had the most jobs to lose, and automakers are increasingly attracted to states where workers are less unionized and wages are lower.

Automakers "don't want to compete for workers" and want to be the employer of choice for manufacturing jobs, the Center for Automotive Research's Kristin Dziczek told Axios. And they don't have to compete as much in southern states, where their nearest rival might be hundreds of miles away.

  • Toyota and Volvo this year announced plans to open new plants in Alabama and South Carolina, respectively.
  • General Motors said last month it would halt production at four U.S. plants, putting over 3,000 jobs at risk.
Expand chart
Data: BLS, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Chris Canipe/Axios

By the numbers: Since the auto industry's most recent labor peak in the early 2000s — the only time frame for which complete state data was available — 15 states saw auto manufacturing job growth. Six of them were in the south.

  • Alabama added the most auto manufacturing jobs.
  • Honda, Kia, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and other foreign auto part suppliers have plants in Alabama. But some of those plants have low pay and extremely dangerous working conditions in the factories, as Bloomberg reported last year.

Yes, but: The South is not the only region where foreign automakers operate.

  • One example is Honda, which opened a plant in Alabama in 2001 but has operated factories in Ohio since the 1980s. Currently, Honda has 3 Ohio factories that employ around 7,000 people, per Honda's most recent annual report — making up 6% of all auto manufacturing jobs in the state.

What's next: One automaker is going against the trend. Fiat Chrysler said it plans to open a new factory in Detroit, the first new U.S. plant by a domestic carmaker in a decade, which could add at least 1,800 jobs in Michigan.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

In photos: Scenes from some of the worst fires raging in the U.S.

A home explodes into flames as the Dixie Fire rips through the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, California, on July 24. The blaze started near the origin of the deadly 2018 Camp Fire and has churned burned over 185,000 acres. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Out-of-state crews went to Montana to tackle a wildfire that wounded five firefighters as Australia sent a large air tanker to help Californian firefighting efforts, as 88 large blazes raged in the U.S. Saturday.

The big picture: Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) tweeted his thanks to Utah and California for sending crews over the weekend, as the two states battle their own blazes. The Australian tanker arrived in Calif., this week, where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) proclaimed a state of emergency for four northern counties Friday.

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Swimmer Chase Kalisz first American to win Tokyo Olympics gold medal

Chase Kalisz of Team United States celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Swimmer Chase Kalisz has become the first Team United States Olympian to win gold at the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: The Rio 2016 silver medalist's winning time in the men's 400 meters Individual Medley Final was 4 minutes 9.42 seconds. His teammate Jay Litherland took silver, .86 seconds behind him. Moments later, Kieran Smith grabbed a third medal for the U.S. when he won bronze in the 400-meter freestyle.

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

3 hours ago - Sports

Gymnast Suni Lee to make historic debut at Olympics

USA's Sunisa Lee performs at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, on Oct. 13, 2019. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

When Sunisa "Suni" Lee steps up to the mat at the Tokyo Olympics, she'll be thinking of her father's pep talks even as he watches from thousands of miles away.

The big picture: The 18-year-old made history this year when she became the first Hmong American to be named to a U.S. Olympic team. Even more special was her dad's presence in the crowd at the Olympic trials — it was only the second time he watched her compete in person since a 2019 accident paralyzed him from the chest down.