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GRDadof3

Grand Rapids Metro Employment at a Glance

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This all started because I was thinking about Google and its "pyschological" affect on Michigan's sour mood. Whether any tech companies set up shop in GR just because a Google facility is 2 hours away is a stretch in my mind, but it will certainly get Michigan mentioned more frequently and more positively in tech articles around the country.

Anyway, I started playing around on the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) website. The first interesting interactive map that I came across was this one, showing Michigan as the #1 State in the U.S. in Unemployment drop of -1.2% from Apr - May 06 (which is phenomenal):

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Of course, you can't judge an economy on a one-month snapshot (like much of the media tends to do), but still thought it was interesting. So I looked at the 12 month map of unemployment change for the U.S., and lo and behold, Michigan was one of the best performing (top 10):

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There were States that actually had their unemployment rates rise in the past 12 months, while Michigan's plunged -.08%.

Then I moved on to the Grand Rapids - Wyoming MSA charts. Our MSA has pretty much tracked the nation's employment data, peaking in 03 and trending downward since. Ours fluctuates up and down more due to our market size and month-to-month fluctuations. Another reason why you have to look at long-term trends. (GR - Wyoming on the left/U.S. on the right)

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And then, this chart and corresponding data floored me. In May of 2006, Grand Rapids Labor Force hit an all-time high, and Number of Employed hit the highest it's been since Dec. 1999 (417,580 Labor Force/395,999 Employed). Labor force denotes people who are "in the job market", and employed means those "in the job market" who are gainfully employed. So GR-Wyoming's population is estimated to be growing, the labor force reaches an all-time high, the number of employed goes up, and the unemployment rate drops. All good signs of a strong economy.

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BLS - Data Table GR - Wyoming

Just wondered if anyone else had seen these numbers. If I read the words "hemorrhaging", "rust-belt", or "beleagured" in regards to Michigan again, I think I just might vomit.

If trends continue, I think if Devos is banking on using the economy to ride into the Governorship, he's going to have a tough go of it.

And yes, everyone can take my idea and run further with it. :thumbsup:

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Thank you for this post :thumbsup:

Only confirms what alot of current and future entrepeneurs have been screaming about to local banks and VC.

I also am a firm believer it charts a course for us to become the true economic driver regionally of the entire state (yes, even without GOOGLE).

Just my $.04

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We must be careful in analyzing unemployment data because there are variables that can distort time comparisons. For example, long term chronically unemployed often fall off the

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Albeit if these are the facts then why is it so stinkin hard for me to get a job? I have looked everywhere few and far between and have not come up with anything good and I have been unemployed for almost 2 months.

Hate to be the negative one here, but jobs aren't really all that plentiful despite the good news.

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We must be careful in analyzing unemployment data because there are variables that can distort time comparisons. For example, long term chronically unemployed often fall off the

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That's nice that the unemployment rate is turning around (the statistics you give all show rate of change, not state) but we still have the highest rate in the country.

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That's nice that the unemployment rate is turning around (the statistics you give all show rate of change, not state) but we still have the highest rate in the country.

First of all: The whole reason I gave rate of change is because it is being overlooked by the media. I tend to look where I'm going and how far I've come. A snapshot does not take that into account.

Second of all: My post was mainly targeting the Grand Rapids employment market (hence the title of the thread). Not only does Grand Rapids NOT have the highest unemployment rate in the country, neither does the State.

Third of all: as YankeeFan stated as a local staffing person, jobs are plentiful. What's not plentiful is qualified workers.

HIX: My point about the labor force growing was to counter an argument that I knew would come up. The labor force is not shrinking, it is in fact growing. So is the population. So are the number of employed persons. If anything, with labor force growing and population growing, you would expect unemployment to go up. But strangely, it's not. It continues to go down (a whole percent over the last year).

The only people who say the economy has become too complex to read and predict are people who are afraid to admit that things are going well.

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My ecconomics teacher would say optimism drives the economy. I guess sometimes things can be that simple.

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A wise man once said:

A speaker of truth has few friends.

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First of all: The whole reason I gave rate of change is because it is being overlooked by the media. I tend to look where I'm going and how far I've come. A snapshot does not take that into account.

Second of all: My post was mainly targeting the Grand Rapids employment market (hence the title of the thread). Not only does Grand Rapids NOT have the highest unemployment rate in the country, neither does the State.

Third of all: as YankeeFan stated as a local staffing person, jobs are plentiful. What's not plentiful is qualified workers.

HIX: My point about the labor force growing was to counter an argument that I knew would come up. The labor force is not shrinking, it is in fact growing. So is the population. So are the number of employed persons. If anything, with labor force growing and population growing, you would expect unemployment to go up. But strangely, it's not. It continues to go down (a whole percent over the last year).

The only people who say the economy has become too complex to read and predict are people who are afraid to admit that things are going well.

Grdad, I was not attacking the validity of your post. I am just noting that government economic indicators are not exact measures of what they are supposed to measure ...or should I say what people assume is being measured. The unemployment rate does not represent the unemployment ratio. Because people have gotten so discourage about finding work ....that they stopped looking in the survey period.... is no legitimate reason to not count them as unemployed, but that is what the government does. Theoretically, if the nation was to go into a depression and people become unemployed long term and stopped looking via the official means, you could have 10

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I think the point was that you only seem to post stuff when its some serious economic issue. Where is HIX when we are discussing the design of a building, or deciding where the safest place is to keep the emergency ham?

Just kidding. It's all good. :thumbsup:

With regard to the economy, I think there are so many different variables involved that you can make anything look the way you want it to look. Some people insist that the states economy is in shambles, and have reliable data to back that up. Others will say the state's economy is fantastic and will point to different, yet equally reliable, data. Where does the truth lie? Probably somewhere in the middle.

Well said Andy. And in agreement with HIX, just like a pendulum, I'm just providing the opposite fulcrum (which I can't seem to find very much of). :thumbsup:

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I think the point was that you only seem to post stuff when its some serious economic issue. Where is HIX when we are discussing the design of a building, or deciding where the safest place is to keep the emergency ham?

Just kidding. It's all good. :thumbsup:

With regard to the economy, I think there are so many different variables involved that you can make anything look the way you want it to look. Some people insist that the states economy is in shambles, and have reliable data to back that up. Others will say the state's economy is fantastic and will point to different, yet equally reliable, data. Where does the truth lie? Probably somewhere in the middle.

I kind of interpreted it as a commentary on pessimism. I was not being pessimistic...but trying to point out reality. If I had chimed in saying that statistics reveal that the future is so bright...we gotta wear shades....there would have been no commentary about whether I smile or not.

All that said...I guess the governor is a shoe in for reelection since things are so rosy.

:D

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... The first interesting interactive map that I came across was this one, showing Michigan as the #1 State in the U.S. in Unemployment drop of -1.2% from Apr - May 06 (which is phenomenal):

188041263_416dff2d53_o.jpg

...

So what happened in May? Baseball season? Landscaping? College kids leaving their college town jobs?

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I have to disagree with you michaelskis. Although most of us don't know where Google has its different facilities, this will be the HQ for their AdWords division, which is one of the main reasons why Google is profitable. But I do think it will take 2 or 3 more big announcements before the tide really starts to turn and optimism returns to Michigan.

Just the announcement of Google's expansion hit online NEWS OUTLETS from around the country. Probably better press than if Honda had announced a new plant in Michigan instead of Indiana (although the jobs numbers would have been more). I'll take more tech announcements than automotive plant announcements. Been there, done that.

I'm no friend of Granholm, but I don't think it will be a shoe-in for Devos either. In fact, I don't think she's doing that bad of a job. She's definitely pro-growth, very competitive, and quite the bulldog when it comes to "chasing down the sale".

OK, here's a prime example. Our very own WOODTV has THIS to say about Ann Arbor, where near the bottom they have this quote:

"While the state's economy continues to lose jobs, Ann Arbor added 1,600 jobs in 2005, he said."

How many jobs were added in the Grand Rapids Metro in 2005 (Dec 04 - Dec 05)*? Why has this not been reported locally?

*Over 13,000

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutp...l=%2522EaG%2522

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I would like to see those numbers compared to 1999 and 2000. After the tech bubble burst and after 9/11 is when the real job loss occurred and I don't think even a 1 year snapshot gives an accurate picture.

I would normally figure it out but I am a little under the weather today.

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I would like to see those numbers compared to 1999 and 2000. After the tech bubble burst and after 9/11 is when the real job loss occurred and I don't think even a 1 year snapshot gives an accurate picture.

I would normally figure it out but I am a little under the weather today.

All the GR numbers go back to 1996. :thumbsup: Sorry to hear you're not feeling well.

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Just the announcement of Google's expansion hit online NEWS OUTLETS from around the country. Probably better press than if Honda had announced a new plant in Michigan instead of Indiana (although the jobs numbers would have been more). I'll take more tech announcements than automotive plant announcements. Been there, done that.
Just read a few of those articles. I found one story, entitled Google Hits Michigan But New Orleans Is Prime, somewhat humorous:
While it appears that Google Inc. plans to build an office and research center in Michigan, employing up to 1,000 people over the next five years, the technology company should consider New Orleans and Louisiana when it expands.
Not to knock New Orleans, but after what happened less than a year ago, why would any company locate a major facility in New Orleans?

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Just to update this with June numbers, labor force hit another all-time high of 425,191, and employment hit the highest level since Dec. 1999 again, at 401,147 (a gain of over 5000 over May). The GR/Wyoming MSA is only about 3700 jobs off of its all-time highest number of employed, which was 404,831. For the 2nd Quarter of 06, there were around 10,300 jobs added!

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Output: correction, go HERE, go to "At a Glance Tables" Regions, States and Area, and then choose our MSA from there.

For a comparison of unemployment rates, GR's rate was 5.7% in June.

Other Metros in June 06:

Kansas City 5.2%

Portland, OR 5.3

Denver 4.9

Boston 4.8

Austin 4.4

Nashville 4.8

Des Moines 3.2

Indianapolis 4.6

Chicago 4.7

Atlanta 5.0

Employment Growth since employment "bottomed out" in 2003 (June 2003 - June 2006) Metro Areas

Las Vegas 15%

Phoenix 12.3

Raleigh/Durham 12.0

Austin 10.1

Grand Rapids 8.3

Denver 8.1

Atlanta 8.1

Nashville 7.3

Des Moines 7.0

Houston 6.8

Portland 6.5

Ann Arbor 5.7

San Diego 4.7

Baltimore 4.2

Kansas City 3.7

Indianapolis 3.6

Minneapolis 3.1

Louisville 2.5

Providence 1.3

Boston .05%

After a few tough years, it appears the growth trend of the late 90's is back:

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