April unemployment figures came out today. Michigan leads the country at 12.9%, the national rate being 8.9%. March’s rates were 12.6% for Michigan compared to 8.5% nationwide. Imagine where we’d be without the stimulus. But wait; it appears the recovery plan has no effect on unemployment. So where’s all that money going?
California’s unemployment rate is 11.2%, so they could surpass Michigan, but it’s not likely. On the other hand, Gov. Schwartzenegger faces a $33.9 billion budget deficit. While it’s certainly not good, Michigan’s $1.3 billion shortfall pales in comparison. California voters turned down proposals to solve the fiscal morass. The proposals included a tax increase and shuffling money from the state lottery and local health and mental health fenced funds. Voters did approve one proposal, though. They told the legislature no pay raises when the state faces a deficit. No matter how the Governator fixes this one, I’ll bet he won’t be back.
Despite lower unemployment, California has a higher foreclosure rate than Michigan. In California, foreclosures are at 4.19% with Michigan at 3.7%. Florida and Nevada far outpace the rest of the country at 8.95% and 6.58%. What’s up with that?
Michigan has a longer shoreline, touching 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. California has the Pacific Ocean, but it also has mudslides, earthquakes, and annual nasty forest fires. And the Redwings beat the Ducks in the playoffs.