Michigan Economy Blog
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By Martin Lavelle       December 4, 2013

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average one-way commute time for U.S. workers increased by almost three minutes between 1990 and 2000. However, since 2000, this commute time has fluctuated between 25 and 26 minutes, even with the numbers of drivers continuing to increase. Why hasn’t the average commute time increased further? For one, U.S. roadways have also expanded since 2000—which... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum, William Testa       November 21, 2013

The dispersion of auto assembly line-type jobs from Michigan to the rest of the U.S. has been widely discussed. But it may be important to examine whether other jobs in the automotive value chain have also dispersed, particularly R&D and headquarters-administrative jobs. It is possible that a sizable part of automotive R&D and administration are spatially separable from production, wi... Read More

By Paul Traub       October 22, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced in August in its U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report for June 2013 that the petroleum deficit had fallen to its lowest level ($17.4 billion) since August 2009 ($17.9 billion).1 This decline was the result not only of declining imports but also of an increase in exports. The petroleum trade deficit was reported to be down $34 billion dollars, year... Read More

By Paul Traub       June 13, 2013

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its 20th annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS) on May 30-31, 2013, at its Detroit Branch. Just a few days following the conference, light vehicle sales (i.e., car and light truck sales) for May were reported to be 15.2 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. This selling rate was 9.6% higher than May 2012's selling rate and was consistent w... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       June 3, 2013

Employment levels in Michigan have recently shown signs of improvement. In fact, since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009, Michigan’s household employment has increased 2.6%, matching the national gain. However, these recent improvements belie Michigan’s poor employment conditions stemming from a long period of subpar economic growth. Indeed, Michigan experienced a “one-state recessio... Read More

By Paul Traub       April 24, 2013

Enhanced exploration and recovery of natural gas and other fuels from shale rock have significantly boosted expected availability of energy in the United States. Projections of natural gas supply in this country have gone up so quickly in the past decade that it is hard to get a good handle on where energy markets are going to settle in the decade ahead—that is, at what price and in what industri... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       April 11, 2013

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmark revisions indicate that Michigan’s labor market decelerated in 2012, adding 37,400 to total nonfarm payrolls while seeing its unemployment rate fall to 9.0% in March and rise to 9.3% during the summer, before falling again and settling at its current rate of 8.9%. As seen in chart 1, Michigan’s unemployment rate tracked somewhat the behavior of... Read More

By Paul Traub       February 26, 2013

Each year at the end of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics updates its monthly seasonal factors and revises its nonfarm payroll employment numbers. This year, the revised employment numbers indicate that job growth in the United States may have been stronger than previously estimated. Chart 1 below shows monthly nonfarm employment from January 2010 through December 2012 before and after... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       February 13, 2013

As promised, we will tackle not only research topics in our blog, but also personal finance and economic education topics; because these are additional areas we focus on at the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Fed. This past Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking with high school students from Northwest H.S. in Jackson, MI, and one of the subjects they were interested in learning more about ... Read More

By Paul Traub       February 6, 2013

In an earlier blog entitled “What is Canada's Role in the U.S. and Michigan Economies?,” I talked about the link between the economies of the United States and Canada and what role Canada might play in Michigan's economic recovery. These topics were discussed in more detail at the Canada-United States Business Association's (CUSBA) Economic Outlook for 2013. I was fortunate enough to be ... Read More

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