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Michigan's economy sinking to new levels that are not part of a cycle

Growing up and living most of my life in Michigan, I've watched friends who work in auto plants struggled with the whole cycle of being laid-off and being called back.  It was a cycle, but with the exception of the last decade, there was always the promise that it would turn around.

Not anymore, according to a pretty prominent economist in the state.  In today's Detroit Free Press, he says the state is sinking into a hole that it will not easily get out of:

  • "I hate to superimpose worse news on top of bad news, but this is
    not a cycle," said David Littman, a senior economist for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Midland-based think tank. "We're in a secular decline here in Michigan.
  • "As the economy slows nationally, we're going to sink much farther relative to the other states. We've only just begun.
  • "We're going to see Michigan sink to levels that no one has ever seen. We're going to be looking at the highest unemployment rates in the nation for the next five to 10 years."
  • "Nine percent of Michigan's labor force was unemployed, up from 6% six years ago, the data show. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7%.
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