October 25, 2006

Comparing Michigan’s and Ohio’s Employment Situations — and Gubernatorial Races

Michigan’s unemployment rate is 7.1%, second highest in the nation to Mississippi’s 7.2%. Ohio’s is 5.3% (seasonally adjusted; 5.0% not seasonally adjusted), which is above the national average, but far from awful.

Michigan is one of only two states with a statistically significant increase in its unemployment rate (up 0.6%) in the past year; the other one is New Jersey (up 0.8%), whose unemployment rate is still only 5.2%. Ohio’s unemployment rate has gone down 0.5% in the past year.

Michigan’s employment (not seasonally adjusted) has increased by all of 10,500 jobs in the past twelve months; the number of unemployed has increased by 34,200. Ohio’s employment (not seasonally adjusted) has increased by 59,600, which the number of unemployed has decreased by 32,600.

The gubernatorial incumbent in Michigan is still supposedly ahead of her challenger, and is favored by the media establishment.

The standard-bearer of the incumbent party in Ohio, who has renounced the first six-plus years of economic mistakes by his predecessor (followed by about 18 months of borderline acceptability), is supposedly behind, and, while gaining support (surprising to some) in many editorial rooms, is loathed by the state’s beat reporters.

His challenger in Ohio currently “represents” the redrawn (in 2002) Ohio’s Sixth Congressional district. “His” District’s economy is so bad that his would-successor in his own party is running TV ads telling voters how bad things are.

Go figure.

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