Unemployment Fell in Nine U.S. States as Michigan Made Headway

This is an interesting report as some still believe the U.S. economy is in the toilet. What is the right indicator to determine whether the economy is doing better or worse? Some people say that unemployment numbers are not a true depiction of the economy because claims are expiring. Others would say that the economy is improving slowly but surely. Who’s right?

By Timothy R. Homan

March 10 (Bloomberg) — Unemployment decreased in nine U.S. states in January, led by an improvement in Michigan that demonstrates factories are driving the economic rebound.

Michigan’s jobless rate fell to 14.3 percent, still the highest in the nation, from 14.5 percent in December, according to figures issued today by the Labor Department in Washington. New York and New Jersey were among the eight states where unemployment decreased by a tenth of a point.

The “most stable economies are those more exposed to manufacturing,” said Steven Cochrane, director of regional economics at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “This is a recovery that’s really kind of concentrated.”

Efforts to stabilize inventories and rising exports are prompting companies like General Motors Co. to call back some dismissed workers. The jobless rate climbed in 30 states at the start of 2010, signaling the thawing of the labor market is not broad-based and indicating it will take years to recover the 8.4 million jobs lost the recession began in December 2007.

Payrolls fell by 36,000 last month following a 26,000 decline in January. The loss of jobs during the recession has been the biggest of any economic slump in the post-World War II era.

Read more at BusinessWeek.com

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