Michigan Economy Shifts Into High Gear As America's Most Improved State Economy
The chart above shows monthly jobless rates for Michigan and the U.S. back to 2000 and helps to illustrate how much the Michigan economy has improved in the last few years. Michigan's April jobless rate of 8.3% is just 0.2% above the national rate of 8.1%, and that's the smallest Michigan-U.S. jobless rate gap since October 2000, more than a decade ago. At the height of the recessionary effects on the labor market, the Michigan-U.S. gap was more than 4% in 2009 when Michigan's rate was above 14% compared to the 10% rate for the country.
Over the last year, the Michigan economy has added 59,300 new jobs, and about half (26,000) of those new jobs have been in manufacturing, reflecting a strong rebound in the automotive sector. This dramatic improvement in the Michigan economy provides additional evidence that the manufacturing sector, especially the Midwest's heartland manufacturing, is at the forefront of the economic expansion.