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The chart above displays the monthly jobless rates for Michigan, California and Nevada, and here a few key observations:

  1. For 101 consecutive months between December 2001 and April 2010, the Nevada jobless rate was at or below Michigan's jobless rate, until May 2010 when Michigan's rate dropped below Nevada's for the first time in more than nine years. The Nevada-Michigan jobless rate gap has increased in every month since May and stands now at 2.8% in December: Nevada (14.5%) vs. Michigan (11.7%, a 23-month low).
  2. For 93 consecutive months between March 2003 and November 2011, the California jobless rate was at or below Michigan's, until last month when Michigan's December jobless rate (11.7%) fell below California's rate of 12.5% for the first time in almost eight years.

It was easy to spot these trends using Google's interactive graph of state unemployment rates.

Source: Michigan and Manufacturing Both Making a Comeback