Despite Media Claims, Michigan Among Highest Job Growth States

Top jobs producing states are right-to-work

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Payroll Survey, June 2009-May 2013

Michigan Radio, a division of NPR, recently highlighted Gov. Rick Snyder’s policies such as right-to-work and cutting business taxes and then described the state’s job growth as "anemic."

"There has been some growth in jobs, but it's been kind of anemic," said Michigan Radio Host Lester Graham in audio posted on the station's website

However, since the recession ended in June 2009, Michigan has had the sixth-highest job growth in the nation at 6.4 percent, trailing North Dakota at 21.6 percent, Utah at 9.5 percent, Texas at 9.3 percent, Tennessee at 6.8 percent, and Indiana and Colorado, which tied for the fifth spot at 6.6 percent, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of the top seven states except Colorado are right-to-work states*.

Michigan's performance since the end of the recession has been impressive," said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Michigan’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in May, which was ninth highest in the nation. Nevada led the U.S. with an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent. Michigan’s unemployment rate peaked at 14.2 percent in August 2009 when Jennifer Granholm was governor. When Gov. Snyder took office in January 2011, the state's unemployment rate was 11 percent.

On the Michigan Radio broadcast, Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, called the state's "Great Recession" the worst of our lifetime and said it wasn't surprising the unemployment rate went up as high as 14.2 percent.

Ballard never used the word "anemic" to describe Michigan’s job growth.

"Thus, I won't comment on that," Ballard said in an email. "I stand by everything I said on the broadcast."

Ballard said Michigan's economic condition is linked to how the entire nation does and that governors get too much blame or credit related to the economy.

Graham didn't respond to a request for comment.

(*Michigan has been a right-to-work state since the end of March. It was noted as a right-to-work state because Michigan Radio reported the state's job growth as "anemic" and related it to the right-to-work law.)

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See also:

Majority of Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Are In Right-to-Work States

Michigan's Job Growth Is More Than Just Auto-Related

Michigan's Gross Domestic Product Grows In 2012