Report: Michigan’s unemployment-to-population rate paints dismal picture of labor rate

Good news about Michigan’s declining unemployment rate the past few years has overshadowed a more discouraging picture of the state’s labor market. Aug. 31, 2012 — MLive

Report: Michigan has highest poverty rate for families in Midwest

A new report finds Michigan still has a long way to go in making progress on jobs and the economy. Aug. 31, 2012 — WXYZ

Lower unemployment rate but where are the workers?

Michigan’s declining unemployment rate does not tell the whole story, according to the League’s 2012 Labor Day Report.

Three years ago on Labor Day, we had just finished August with the highest monthly unemployment rate since the early 1980s — 14.2% and highest in the nation. Two years ago the August unemployment rate was 12.4% and second highest in the nation, and last year it was 10.4% and third highest. The rate for this past July was 9%, 10th highest.

A closer look shows that the picture is not all rosy. Michigan’s improving unemployment rate is driven less by an increase in employed workers and more by a decrease in unemployed workers and in the total labor force. The number of unemployed workers in a given month is now lower than the net number of workers Michigan has lost from its labor force since 2001 (when the labor force was at its numerical peak and unemployment was below 5%). (more…)

Shrinking labor force still plagues Michigan, report finds

A new Labor Day report from the Michigan League for Human Services shows the state still suffers from a shrinking labor force and high African-American unemployment. Aug. 31, 2012 — Detroit Free Press

Labor Day Report

Aug. 31, 2012
Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436

Michigan’s lower unemployment rate masks deeper issues
State has highest rate in Midwest for working families in poverty

Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped dramatically since it hit 14.2 percent in August 2009 and the state is no longer No. 1 in unemployment, but the lower rate masks serious problems with employment in Michigan, a Labor Day report concludes.

In fact, Michigan has more “lost workers,’’ than unemployed workers. Lost workers are those who have left the workforce and are not counted in the employment statistics as either unemployed or employed. In addition, Michigan has the biggest share in the Midwest of working families who live in poverty, despite holding down jobs.

The Labor Day Report, Michigan Falling Unemployment Rate Masks Serious Concerns, was released by the Michigan League for Human Services. (more…)

Rochelle Riley: New study highlights an old problem with Michigan’s workforce

A coalition of Michigan community, social service and educational agencies spent seven months studying the state’s workforce and talent pool.

What they found is this: Michigan is in trouble. Aug. 20, 2012 — Detroit Free Press

What about the low-skilled workers?

When we read the term “workforce development,’’ we usually think of robotics, green energy or other training programs in emerging industries. But a new report looks at a key segment of the workforce that must not be forgotten – low-skilled workers.

We often do not think of workers who have difficulty in basic skill areas such as writing, mathematics or English as a second language — skills one is assumed to have mastered in order to graduate from high school. Such workers need to become part of that labor pool for the in-demand jobs. (more…)

Strengthening skills for Michigan’s future

Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436 or cell (517) 410-5798
August 20, 2012

Coalition calls for bringing low-skilled workers into talent pool
Michigan’s future depends on shoring up academic, soft skills

As Michigan recovers from a deep recession, strengthening workers’ basic academic as well as essential workplace skills must be a high priority in order for Michigan to prosper, a new coalition report concludes.

The Michigan League for Human Services in December 2011 convened a Workforce Development Coalition to look at policies that will bring low-skilled workers fully into Michigan’s talent pool. The 18-member coalition, composed of literacy and human services organizations, job training groups and others, today issued the report, Strengthening Foundational Skills: A Strategy for Restoring Good Jobs and Economic Security in Michigan. (more…)

It’s that time again — raise the minimum wage!

The federal minimum wage would rise to $9.80 by July 2014 under bills introduced by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-CA. The Economic Policy Institute today released a report showing that the minimum wage affects far more than teen workers in Michigan.

Among the findings:

  • 44% of those who would directly and indirectly benefit from the proposed increase work full time.
  • Parents make up 27% of those affected, and 26% of those parents are the sole providers of income for their families.
  • 86% are 20 years old or older, putting to rest the often-heard claim that minimum wage increases benefit primarily teenagers. (more…)

Rebuttal: Expand Medicaid now

We disagree with The Detroit News’ July 29 editorial, “State should bypass expansion of Medicaid,” which concludes Gov. Rick Snyder should reject Medicaid expansion as called for in the federal Affordable Care Act. Aug. 8, 2012 — The Detroit News

Next Page »