News Story

Michigan Job Gains Jump for Second Straight Quarter

Michigan’s economy appears to be breaking out of a decade-long slump, according to Mackinac Center for Public Policy fiscal analyst James Hohman. Hohman points to a net gain of 62,345 jobs created in the second and third quarters of 2010 in the state, according to recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s the first time Michigan has put together two consecutive quarters of job growth since the second and third quarter in 2005. It was the biggest two-quarter growth spurt since the fourth quarter of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000 netted more than a combined 86,000 jobs. Michigan’s darkest quarter came in the first quarter of 2009, when the state lost a net 120,000 jobs.

Hohman said he was “impressed by the sheer amount of job creation that went on in Michigan.“

The state ranked 19th overall in job creation over those two quarters and was 31st nationally in job losses, both good numbers, Hohman said.

The state is still far off from its peak employment. That came in the second quarter of 2000 when there were 4.7 million jobs and a 3.7 percent unemployment rate. Currently, Michigan is estimated to have had 3.9 million jobs in the first quarter of 2011 and the unemployment rate in March was 10.3 percent.

University of Michigan economist Don Grimes said the rebound is similar to those from the 1973-75 and 1980-82 recessions, calling it a “typical recovery from a deep recession.“

“So far so good, although the job loss in 2009 was so severe it will take us years to get back to 2008 levels, “ Grimes wrote in an email. “The key question for Michigan will be whether we can even come close to matching the national rate of job growth once this cyclical rebound abates. I think we have a shot at it, but there are a lot of headwinds we need to overcome.“