Michigan job growth forecast revised downward

| Tuesday, October 5, 2010
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There was wide media coverage today of the University of Michigan's latest state economic forecast, which predicts job growth will return to Michigan next year after an unprecedented decade of declines.

That's good news, of course. But today's forecast isn't as rosy as the one U-M economists issued in May.

The new forecast calls for Michigan to add 23,000 jobs in 2011. That's way down from the 41,100 jobs next year U-M economists foresaw in May.

The job-loss forecast for this year also was boosted slightly from May. U-M expects the state to lose 20,200 jobs, up from 19,700 jobs in the May forecast. Still, that's a vast improvement from the 230,200 jobs the state economy shed in 2009.

In a brief e-mail to me, chief U-M forecaster George Fulton attributed the downward adjustment in his state forecast to a slowdown in the national economic recovery.

But 2012 looks better. Michigan should produce 60,200 new jobs and see personal income grow by 3.6 percent, according to the new forecast. Compare that to 2009 when personal income fell 3.1 percent, the first such decline since 1958.

While it doesn't feel to most of us like the Great Recession is over, the numbers at least show we're slowly climbing out of a deep hole.

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