Fortunately, the U.S. economy is not yet in a recession, but that doesn’t mean that we have repealed the business cycle. A recession will come; we just don’t know exactly when it will hit. Right now, however, even as the national economy has slowed down, Michigan’s economy isn’t even doing nearly as well as the national average.
As we came out of the Great Recession of 2007-09, Michigan’s economy rebounded strongly. For several years, we added about 75,000 jobs per year. But that slowed to about 43,000 jobs per year in 2017 and 2018. This year, Michigan has had no job growth at all.
While the U.S. was adding more than 1.2 million jobs between January and September, employment in Michigan didn’t budge at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in Michigan was very slightly smaller in September than in January. (Ohio and Indiana have lost more jobs this year than Michigan has lost, but that provides small comfort.)
Employment is not the only sluggish indicator for the Michigan economy. Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product in our state declined in the fourth quarter of 2018. We have had a little bit of growth since then. Nevertheless, Michigan’s inflation-adjusted GDP in the second quarter of 2019 was only one-half of one percent larger than a year earlier.
Read more from Michigan State economics professor Charles Ballard