Now that MI’s Unemployment Has Gone Up over 1%, Will the Press Report It?

I’ve been a little mystified by reporting on Michigan’s unemployment of late. There was this NYT story that gave credit to Rick Snyder credit for, “presiding over an employment rebound in a state that not long ago had the highest jobless rate in the nation” (and which I beat up here). There’s this MLive article that reports, “the state’s jobless rate has dropped from a high of 14.2 percent in August 2009 to 9 percent last month” without noting that that 9% was .7% higher than recent lows. And even this AP report on Rick Snyder’s decision to lay off a almost a quarter of the unemployment staffers (with the part timers Snyder laid off last month, 35% of unemployment staffers have been cut) didn’t say that unemployment actually started creeping up before Snyder made the layoff decisions.

Unemployment went up again in the last month, to 9.4% (some of this likely stems from a shift in model year layoffs and will probably go down next month), effectively reversing the last year of job gains and up 1.1% from its recent low.

Will the Snyder-loving press start reporting these job losses?

To be fair, I don’t think Snyder deserves all of the blame. Obama’s failure to provide real mortgage relief has been a big weight on economic growth in Michigan, even as the auto bailout and the energy investments have added jobs.

But Snyder has cut a lot of job-supporting efforts put in place under Jennifer Granholm. Not to mention–by gutting unemployment insurance staffers–cutting public employment so far as to bring down the rest of the economy.

Rick Snyder, like Mitt Romney is promising to do at the national level, promised his business friendly ways would grow MI’s economy. Instead, it looks like they’ve dampened the efforts that were put into place.

6 replies
  1. greengiant says:

    The number of people getting unemployment checks and therefore with a reason to be filing claims is much lower than the unemployment rate.
    The decline in the number of unemployment checks is probably being used to determine staffing levels.

    Seems in Michigan and many other states the unemployment checks are stopping at week 63 to week 73 ( not the high water mark of 99 weeks )
    as the number of weeks in the EUC tiers downgrades and the 20 week EUB is a thing of the past.

    Unemployment benefits will be back to 26 weeks only with a subset working off their last EUC tier of 14 weeks starting Dec 23, 2012, which the budget cliff legislation may effect.

    Looks like Michigan should get EUC tier 4 back. Wiki reports EUC tier 4 is Available in states with a: 3-month seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate (TUR) of at least 8.5%; or 13-week insured unemployment rate (IUR) of at least 6.0%
    Starting Jun 1, 2012, TUR requirement increased to at least 9.0%; IUR requirement not changed

    They use the insured unemployment
    rate, The insured unemployment rate (% of covered employment) is Continued
    Claims (also called insured unemployment) divided by Covered Employment.
    Which is about 2.6 percent nationally and falling fast…

  2. Driver 8 says: has a report

    Michigan unemployment rate rises for fourth consecutive month

    The unemployment rate in Michigan is up four-tenths of a point from last month to 9.4 percent says a new report released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

    This marks the fourth consecutive month that Michigan’s jobless rate has increased.

    The data reveal little change in the labor force, as the total number of unemployed increased by 16,000.

  3. Driver 8 says:

    ap has coverage on its newswire

    Michigan jobless rate jumps 0.4 points to 9.4 pct.

    Sept. 19, 2012, 2:49 p.m. EDT

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan authorities say the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points in the latest month to 9.4 percent.

    The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget released the August jobless figures Wednesday. The nation’s August unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in July.

    The state’s jobless has fallen 1 percentage point over 12 months from an August 2011 level of 10.4 percent. But it has risen for four straight months from April’s 8.3 percent.

    Michigan says total employment in the state dropped by 18,000 in August and the number of unemployed rose by 16,000. The overall civilian labor force was little changed at 4.7 million.

  4. Driver 8 says:

    right wing leaning (formerly the very right wing Grand Rapids Press basically) takes a crack at the report:

    Michigan’s unemployment rate up again, economist says news isn’t as gloomy as it appears

    Michigan’s jobless rate has crept upward for each of the past four months, but still remains lower than most of 2011.

    The unemployment rate increased to 9.4 percent in August, up from 9 percent in July, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

    The national jobless rate was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in July.

    Michigan’s rate has now similar to the December 2011’s rate of 9.3 percent after dipping below 9 percent in February through June.

    [and then the spinning and bullsh*t begins] >>>>>

    Monthly changes in the statewide unemployment rate should be taken with a grain of salt, said Michigan State University economics professor Charles Ballard.

    “I’m very reluctant to be too gloomy on the basis of just this one set of numbers,” he said.

  5. greengiant says:

    @Driver 8: Nations unemployment 8.1, fraction of unemployed getting benefits 2.6 / 8.1 i.e. 32 percent of “unemployed” are getting benefits. And that is with the low ball unemployment number.

  6. greengiant says:

    @greengiant: 32 percent are getting “regular state” benefits, about 3 million people and falling 154,000 in the last week. 2.1 million receiving EUC benefits.

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