Cynical Synapse

Wed, 19 Aug 2009

Michigan Unemployment Down, But Not Really

Filed under: Cars, Economy, Government, Michigan, Unemployment — cynicalsynapse @ 9:40 pm

Grand Rapids Press

At 15%, Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down two-tenths from June’s figure. That’s still 55% higher than last July’s rate of 8.3%. And, experts figure Michigan’s rate will still be the highest in the country.

But, hey! Michigan gained jobs, right? If you consider 7,000 were in the hotel and leisure industry, it’s not rocket science to realize most of those will disappear after Labor Day. While there were other gains, notably in government and healthcare, retail and construction jobs were down. Excuse me? What happened to all those Stimulus bill construction jobs?

While Michigan “gained” 18,000 manufacturing jobs in July and fewer factory workers were laid off, don’t forget most autoworkers were already laid off. Since they were already unemployed, the Big 3 didn’t need to do their traditional July changeover shutdowns. To put it in perspective, from the Grand Rapids Press:

The rise in manufacturing jobs “does not reflect any real improvement in the job picture, but is just an artifact of the seasonal adjustment process,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the state Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Michigan has lost 119,000 manufacturing jobs the past year. About 281,000 total nonfarm payroll jobs have been lost in that time.

Hang on to your hats. Michigan’s unemployment ride is bound to be bumpy for the rest of the year. It’s likely we’ll see month-to-month fluctuations, making the overall picture less than clear.

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2 Comments

  1. I feel for Michigan. It’s a pity that a state with so many skilled, hardworking people is in such a bad way.

    What really ticks me off is that between the TARP bailout for bankers and the economic stimulus bill, a trillion and a half dollars have apparently vanished.

    People have no perspective about how much money that is. It’s enough to give every man, woman, and child in this country about $4,500. Surely that much money should be flowing in the economy by now! But I see no sign of it.

    Comment by Survive Unemployment — Thu, 20 Aug 2009 @ 11:10 am

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I agree 100%. Banks haven’t let any of that flow through, but ordinary families woulda been out spending it!

      I was particularly perturbed about the reluctance to help the auto industry. Wall Street gets $1.5 trillion and the automakers get less than $30 billion? WTF!

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Thu, 20 Aug 2009 @ 12:02 pm


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