The Michigan Economy: Its Potentials and Its Problems

The Michigan Economy: Its Potentials and Its Problems

The Michigan Economy: Its Potentials and Its Problems

The Michigan Economy: Its Potentials and Its Problems

Excerpt

DURING THE PAST year or two, Michigan has become increasingly concerned about the problem of unemployment. The immediate cause for concern was, of course, the very serious amount of unemployment prevailing in the state during the recession of 1958. It was a year in which national unemployment rose to almost seven percent of the labor force, the highest level in the postwar period, and in which Michigan's rate of unemployment was twice as great as that of the nation. Not in a quarter of a century had unemployment been so much more serious in Michigan than in the country as a whole.

Of course, there are always persons without jobs in every free- functioning economy. However, public attention focuses on the problem when unemployment rises to such a high proportion of the available labor force that harmful side-effects develop, affecting workers, business, and government. All of these groups were affected by the high level of unemployment prevailing in Michigan in 1958 -- in loss of jobs and in reduced earnings, in curtailed business sales, and in larger governmental expenditures for relief clients.

But the concern of the people of Michigan exceeded that occasioned by the 1958 recession alone. Would prosperity return to the state with the return of prosperity to the nation? Or have we developed a deeper and more pervasive problem? There has been reason to suspect that we do have deeper problems; and this suspicion has intensified the preoccupation of the citizens and of their leaders with the economic destiny of the state.

It is the purpose of this report to examine all facets of the problem. What are the facts? How bad are they? How did the state get into trouble? What must it do to get out? In this introductory chapter, we shall present a few of the dramatic facts about the recent development of unemployment as a problem in our state. They will suggest that there is, indeed, cause for concern.

To a degree, the relatively severe unemployment in Michigan . . .

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