2007 July 09 Monday
People In Michigan Most Fearful Of Job Loss

Michigan, hard hit by the declining domestic auto industry, has the lowest worker confidence of 8 large American states (the others: California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania)

One-fourth of all workers in Michigan are unhappy with their jobs and fear being laid off, a trend that is pushing worker confidence in the state down to its lowest point since January 2004, according to a monthly survey of the eight most populous states

According to the Hudson Employment Index, worker confidence in Michigan fell in June to 72, which is 12.9 points lower than last June's 84.9 reading. At its peak, the state index hit 108.5 in September 2004.

In the last 12 months the highest national index of this employment index was in March 2007 at 109 and the national index has since gone down to 101.2. The Michigan high point of the last year was in November 2006 at 94.9. The decay to 72 is a huge change.

Does one of the other 42 states have workers whose job fears rival those of Michiganers? I'm doubting it.

The people most likely to leave are less intellectually able.

For example, 9 percent of those asked from Macomb County (where only 21 percent of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher) said they felt certain they would move out of Michigan.

By contrast, no one surveyed from Oakland County (where 41 percent of residents have a bachelor's or higher) was planning to leave.

College kids are, by and large, planning to stay. The survey found only 7 percent of those with college degrees planning to fly.

Meanwhile, those holding only high school diplomas were twice as likely to leave. Meanwhile, 18 percent of those with no degree of any kind said they would be willing to move.

Nor is the solid middle class planning to head to Manitoba. Just 3 percent of those earning between $75,000 and $100,000 were planning on leaving. But by contrast, those earning between $25,000 and $50,000 were six times as likely to report that they are discouraged and looking for sunnier pastures.government.

That bodes well for an eventual recovery. Michigan has some excellent universities and lots of smart workers who can start new businesses and create new products and services.

The Michigan economy shrunk last year while every other state grew.

Last year, Michigan was the only state with a shrinking gross domestic product, or GDP, Johnson noted. GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in the state, and in 2006 it fell 0.5 percent, while the national GDP grew 3.4 percent. In 2003, Michigan's GDP ranked 23rd in the United States. Last year it fell to 35th.

If rising oil prices push the US into a recession then Michigan is going to turn down even deeper. That's a bad place to find yourself unemployed.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 July 09 09:16 PM  Economics Labor

Ned said at July 10, 2007 8:20 AM:

I'm not surprised - I live in Michigan - the state's economy is in free fall, underperforming not only all other states but also the Great Lakes region. Population, GDP and employment are all declining. The model which brought prosperity for decades - highly unionized heavy industry - is disappearing rapidly. Nothing is yet available to take its place. A deep recession or a surge in oil prices will probably push Chrysler and maybe Ford into bankruptcy. The UAW may dry up and blow away. The state is becoming less populated, more rural, more agrarian, sort of like it was a century ago. This process is neither easy nor pretty (if you want to see what it's done to Detroit, look here - http://www.detroitblog.org/). The politicians mostly are clueless (our idiot governor wants to raise taxes!). But still, there are beautiful forests, lake and beaches, wonderful summers and friendly people. Michigan remains, in many ways, a delightful, affordable place to live, especially if you've got a good job and money.

Mark said at July 14, 2007 6:48 PM:

"If rising oil prices push the US into a recession then Michigan is going to turn down even deeper. That's a bad place to find yourself unemployed."

Even more so since American automobiles are much less fuel efficient than Japanese ones.

Rising oil prices would equal fewer American cars being bought and built.

Michigan would get double whacked by high oil prices.

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