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Friday, August 20, 2004

Michigan lost 25,000 jobs in July

From Booth newspapers:
Michigan's unemployment rate jumped to 6.8 percent in July as the state continued to shed jobs, once again in the politically sensitive manufacturing sector.

Payroll employment in July was 4.35 million, down 25,000 from June, when the unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, according to Wednesday's jobs report by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. The national unemployment rate in July was 5.5 percent.

Since its historic payroll employment peak of 4.6 million jobs in 2000, Michigan has lost more than 324,000 jobs, 211,000 of them in manufacturing.
Another one of those bad news-good news short-term/long-term stories. Bad news in the short term, obviously, because real people won't be able to pay real bills or see real doctors. Good news in the political sense, because it probably means Michigan won't go for Bush (Juan Cole reports that the assault on Najaf has probably cost Bush thousands of votes in Michigan's large Arab/Muslim communities), although you know how I feel about his "challenger." In the longer term, bad news again, since those jobs probably aren't coming back, and Michigan may be heading back into a 1983- or 1992-style recession. In the longest term, it's kind of how I feel about oil prices and several other things going on. The whole system is going to collapse eventually, and the damage done can only be mitigated by people realizing this as soon as possible. As one of the books I read recently said (paraphrasing): "Exponential growth in a finite world cannot continue indefinitely." Unless you're in the privileged one or two percent at the top for whom the current globalized capitalist system is designed, things will just get worse and worse for you and your family. Only by facing up to the problems and realizing that we need to switch to a no-growth, low-impact, sustainable lifestyle will we avoid a 21st century filled with war, pestilence and death.