Michigan Unemployment – Then and Now

Go Lean Commentary

The tagline “a better place to live, work and play” is the focus for empowering the Caribbean, placing equal emphasis on all 3 spheres of activity. But the focus of work is easier said than done. Without work, the Caribbean will continue to suffer societal abandonment – our good people would simply leave to go elsewhere to find the missing work element. They will do this despite how pleasant the “live” and “play” elements may be in our society.

This is a lesson learned from Detroit, Michigan USA.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap to elevate the Caribbean “work” environment. It analyses the regional disposition and then seeks solutions by studying the performances of other global cities, especially in the US.

The following chart highlights 50 cities, 2 of which were studied for the Go Lean book, a good example, Number 1 on the chart: Omaha, Nebraska and Number 50 on the chart: Detroit, Michigan, the once great industrial city.

CU Blog - Michigan Unemployment - Then and Now - Photo 2

The lessons from Omaha have already been a subject of this commentary. Now we focus on the other end of the chart, Detroit; this city specifically and the overall State of Michigan in general.

The entire eco-system of jobs was crippled in Michigan during the recent Great Recession (2007 – 2009). In response to the crisis throughout the country, the US federal government began extending unemployment benefits as a safety-net. There was a federal program to provide additional weeks of unemployment benefits to people starting in 2008.[2] The program was then extended again and again; the most recent extension was provided by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which continued the supplemental unemployment benefits until the end of 2013.[2] Only then was the comfort level established that the “recession was over”, and the recovery was well enough in hand.

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in November 2013 the average (mean) duration of unemployment was 37.2 weeks. [3] The median duration was 17.0 weeks. 22.6% of people who were unemployed found a new job in less than 5 weeks, while 37.3% had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.[3]

These numbers were very bad during the throes of the Great Recession. In line with the following article, which quotes statistics, the impact on the streets of Michigan were 1 million unemployed. See article here:

Michigan unemployment tops 15% – July 2009
Sub-title: Government says jobless rate is the highest for a state since 1984. Rate tops 10% in 15 states and District of Columbia.
By: Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer
CU Blog - Michigan Unemployment - Then and Now - Photo 1NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Michigan became the first state in 25 years to suffer an unemployment rate exceeding 15%, according to a report released Friday by the Labor Department.

The state’s unemployment rate rose to 15.2% in June (2009). It was the highest of any state since March 1984, when West Virginia’s unemployment rate exceeded 15%.

Michigan, which has been battered by the collapse of the auto industry and the housing crisis, has had the highest unemployment rate in the nation for 12 months in a row.

Rhode Island had the second highest unemployment rate at 12.4%, followed by Oregon at 12.2%.

A total of 15 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates of at least 10%.

Friday’s report from the U.S. Labor Department also showed that six states recorded record-high unemployment rates in June.

Over the month, jobless rates increased in 38 states and the District   of Columbia. Michigan’s 1.1 percentage point increase from May to June was the highest in the nation, followed by Wyoming’s 0.9 point increase.

On an annual basis, jobless rates where higher in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Michigan also recorded the highest yearly increase at 7.1 percentage points. Oregon came in second with a year-over-year increase of 6.3 percentage points in its unemployment rate.

The national unemployment rate rose for the ninth straight month in June, climbing to 9.5% from 9.4%, and hitting another 26-year high. Nearly 3.4 million jobs have been lost during the first half of 2009, more than the 3.1 million lost in all of 2008.

Unemployment rates decreased in five states, and seven states had no rate change.

North Dakota’s 4.2% jobless rate was the lowest in the nation, followed by Nebraska at 5%.

The Midwest and West both had jobless rates of 10.2%. The jobless rate in the Northeast rose to 8.6% from 8.3% but was the lowest of any U.S. region. In the South, unemployment rose to 9.2%.

Non-farm payroll employment fell in 39 states and the District of   Columbia in June. California had the largest month-over-month decrease in jobs.

Payrolls increased in 10 states and were unchanged in one state. The largest over-the-month increase occurred in North Carolina.

Source: CNN Money Online Financial News Site (Posted July 17, 2009; retrieved 12-02-2014)http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/17/news/economy/state_unemployment_report/

The Great Recession was truly a crisis. That was then; this is now.

Detroit still has the highest unemployment rate of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., at more than three times the national average for May, which was 6.3%. The unemployment rate for Detroit hovered at 23%, six percentage points ahead of the nearest on the list — Oakland City, Calif., at 16.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 24, 2014.[4]

Once the metrics fall so low, there is no place to go but up.

In the past year Michigan is starting to finally feel the beneficial effects of the recovery. From those ghastly numbers of 1 million in 2009, the numbers petitioning for the Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) at December 19, 2013 were slightly “over 43,000 people in Michigan”. (The extension measure failed in the US Congress – the economy was a victim of its own success).

The Go Lean publishers are here to observe and report. Detroit in specific and Michigan is general is starting now to experience a turn-around. While there may be an ongoing hardship for those 43,000 people, the overall economy of Michigan has greatly improved since 2009, as the foregoing article relates, when the state “recorded the highest yearly unemployment increase of 7.1 percentage points”.

Michigan unemployment rate edges toward pre-recession numbers
Sub-title: …but employment hasn’t recovered
By: Emily Lawler – elawler@mlive.com MLive.com

LANSING, MI – Michigan’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in October, according to data released by the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

October’s 7.1 number is a .1 percent decline from September and the third monthly decline in a row. A year ago, in October 2013, unemployment was more than a point higher at 8.6 percent.

That’s the lowest rate this year and in fact the lowest since January through March of 2008.

“October’s 7.1 percent jobless rate was the lowest in Michigan since the January thorugh March 2008 period, and close matched pre-recession rates from 2003 to 2007. However, Michigan employment remains far below pre-recession levels,” noted the Department in a press release.

In October 2007, total employment in the state was 4.6 million. In October 2014, total employment in the state was 4.4 million.

Gov. Rick Snyder issued a statement on the unemployment:

“There is optimism and opportunity in Michigan as our state’s economy continues to move forward. More people are working and our labor force is growing as companies create more and better jobs. Our reinvention is helping working families and we are seeing results.

“But while we can recognize this accomplishment, there is more to do to fulfill our goal of the brightest possible future. We need to continue creating an environment for success, and that includes building a workforce with in-demand skills – and making sure a pathway to those skills is available for Michigan students and adults.”

Emily Lawler is a Capitol/Lansing business reporter for MLive Media Group.
Source: http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/11/michigan_unemployment_rate_edg.html

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU is set to optimize Caribbean society, not Detroit, starting with economic empowerment. In fact, the Go Lean roadmap has 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The CU will foster the right climate for Direct Foreign Investments, entrepreneurial initiatives, industrial development, and preparation for a ready, willing and able work force.

These points are pronounced early in the Go Lean book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14) with many statements that demonstrate the need to empower the Caribbean labor force:

xx. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxv. Whereas the legacy of international democracies had been imperiled due to a global financial crisis, the structure of the Federation must allow for financial stability and assurance of the Federation’s institutions. To mandate the economic vibrancy of the region, monetary and fiscal controls and policies must be incorporated as proactive and reactive measures. These measures must address threats against the financial integrity of the Federation and of the member-states.

xxvi. Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of ship-building, automobile manufacturing, pre-fabricated housing, frozen foods, pipelines, call centers, and the prison industrial complex. In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries like tourism, fisheries and lotteries – impacting the region with more jobs.

Despite the weaknesses of its current dilemma, Detroit does have strengths. The city is working hard to turn-around. See VIDEO here of a Job Fair for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs peculiar to the Motor City:

Engineering Society of Detroit job fair on Monday – Posted November 9, 2014

Video – http://www.wxyz.com/money/job-finder/engineering-society-of-detroit-job-fair-on-monday#Job%20fair%20today:

We must learn from Detroit. The Go Lean book details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to impact jobs in the Caribbean region, member-states, cities and communities. Below is a sample:

Assessment – Anecdote – Caribbean Single Market & Economy Page 15
Assessment – Anecdote – Dutch Caribbean – Integration & Secessions Page 16
Assessment – Anecdote – French Caribbean – Organization & Discord Page 17
Assessment – Anecdote – Puerto Rico – The Greece of the Caribbean Page 18
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos   – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Around Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategic – Vision – Integrating Region in to a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Mission –   Facilitate Job-Creating Industries Page 46
Strategic – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – $800 Billion Economy – How and When – High Multiplier Industries Page 70
Tactical – Separation of Powers – State Department – Self-Governing Entities Page 80
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Cuba/Haiti Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Lessons Learned from 2008 Page 136
Planning – Lessons from Omaha Page 138
Planning – Lessons from Detroit Page 140
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Battles in the War Against Poverty Page 222
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Middle Class Page 223
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living Page 234

Other subjects related to the pros-and-cons of job empowerments for the region have been blogged in other Go Lean…Caribbean commentaries, as sampled here::

Making a Great Place to Work® – Detroit Employer Example
Where the Jobs Are – Entrepreneurism in Junk
The Geography of Joblessness
Continued Discriminationor Latins/Caribbeans in Job Markets
Where the Jobs Are – Computers Reshaping Global Job Market
Where the Jobs Are – One Scenario: Shipbreaking
Casino   Jobs – Changing/Failing Business Model
The Future of Golf; Vital for Tourism Jobs
STEM Jobs Are Filling   Slowly – High Demand, Low Supply
Where the Jobs Were – British public sector now strike over ‘poverty pay’
Where the Jobs Are – Fairgrounds as SGE & Landlords for Sports Leagues
Self-employment jobs on the rise in the Caribbean – World Bank

The purpose of this roadmap is to elevate Caribbean society. To succeed we must apply lessons from advanced economy countries like the US, and the cities there in; lessons from their good, bad and ugly experiences of the past.

The Go Lean movement (book and blog commentaries) posits that there is less effort to remediate the Caribbean homeland, than to flee to a city like Detroit and try to thrive as an alien in that land. So the book thusly advocates to “prosper where planted”. With the appropriate effort, as defined in the Go Lean book, the Caribbean can truly become a better place to live, work and play.

Download the book Go Lean…Caribbean now!


Source References:

  1. http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,4680,7-118–318402–s,00.html
  2. Ayres, Sarah (20 November 2013). “Why Congress Must Extend Emergency Unemployment Benefits”. Center for American Progress. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  3. “Economic News Release: Table A-12 Unemployed person by duration of unemployment”. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  4. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/should-you-move-to-detroit-2014-06-24. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
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