Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Michigan, Manufacturing Are Making a Comeback

The chart above displays the monthly jobless rates for Michigan, California and Nevada, and here are a few key observations:

1. For 101 consecutive months between December 2001 and April 2010, the Nevada jobless rate was at or below Michigan's jobless rate, until May 2010 when Michigan's rate dropped below Nevada's for the first time in more than nine years.  The Nevada-Michigan jobless rate gap has increased in every month since May and stands now at 2.8% in December: Nevada (14.5%) vs. Michigan (11.7%, a 23-month low). 

2. For 93 consecutive months between March 2003 and November 2011, the California jobless rate was at or below Michigan's, until last month when Michigan's December jobless rate (11.7%) fell below California's rate of 12.5% for the first time in almost eight years.  

It was easy to spot these trends using Google's interactive graph of state unemployment rates.


At 2/10/2011 1:29 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Ummm. How much do these numbers resist "discouraged workers"?

Sorry -- Likely they're crap, Mark.

At 2/10/2011 8:00 AM, Blogger geoih said...

So all you have to do is give an industry billions of tax dollars and erase it's private debt, and it's able to be productive?

I also think you need to consider the drop in population in Michigan. Rather like the recent unemployment numbers, it's remarkable the affect a change in the denominator can have on a calculated rate.

At 2/10/2011 8:45 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i wonder to what extent this has to do with the building industry.

CA and NV had big RE booms and huge amounts of building whereas MI did not.

as building is very slow to recover, the lack of it in MI may be giving them a tailwind relative to boom states.

At 2/10/2011 8:53 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Morgan, in addition to your point, MI losing population may be skewing these numbers as well. I know a number of unemployed engineers who've left to find work.

At 2/10/2011 9:45 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


i had not thought of that, but it makes a ton of sense.

if you have no faith in the ability to find a job locally, you'd move which, perversely would drive down reported unemployment.

all ghost towns have 0 unemployment.

At 2/10/2011 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unemployment rates in Michigan have fallen for two reasons. First, many unemployed moved to other states (something that Dr. Perry has pointed out multiple times by comparing one-way moving truck rental costs between Detroit and Dallas). Second, the 99 week cutoff for unemployment benefits has ended for many Michigan residents. These still unemployed residents are excluded from the "official" unemployment statistics.

Economists should not pretend that bad (or neutral) news indicates an improved economy.

At 2/11/2011 10:05 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Two points for you Mark.

First, aren't you the guy who keeps posting data on people abandoning Michigan for low-tax states?

Second, why do you believe that data that ignores discouraged workers is representative of reality?

Let me not that I am not suggesting that Michigan is not doing better than Nevada or California, if that is your point. I am only suggesting that the data underestimates the real problem.


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