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Old 07-07-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida
78 posts, read 220,347 times
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I moved to Florida in 1982 due to the bad Michigan economy at the time. I currently receive a hometown paper and I see a few job openings. Back in 1982 there where NO jobs available that I can remember. It was very bleak. It doesn't appear (from my limited view) to be as bad as it was in the 80s.

Are there any of you that have experienced both the current economic downturn and the one back in the 80s? If so, which one do you feel is worse?
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:35 PM
 
Location: At the end of the road, where the trail begins.
760 posts, read 2,172,665 times
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We moved to San Diego, CA in '81 due to the poor job market. Had two other branches of the family follow us in '82 and '84. We moved back to MI in late '88.
That period was definitely worse for my family. This time around, no one in our extended family has had any employment problems other then my FIL but he kinda did that to himself and has been picking up contract work (software) here and there.
None of our family lives in the s.e. corner of MI tho..... they're all in the Grand Rapids metro area.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:36 AM
 
89 posts, read 297,651 times
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I would say the biggest difference would be that in '82 you got laid-off and in most cases got called back when things picked up. Today most of those jobs are gone. However there are still opportunities today if you have the right training.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:52 AM
 
9,948 posts, read 6,884,339 times
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I was in junior high - high school during the 80's thing. However, all one has to do is look back at the unemployment rates then and now. The unemployment rate for the state peaked at about 18%.....today it was 8.5% as of the end of may. By contrast, the peak unemployment rate of the great depression was 33% (for the nation). Flint Michigan's unemployment rate peaked at about 25% in the 80's

The state is much more diversified today than in the 80's. If the state was as dependent today, as back then, on the auto industry the unemployment rate would at least be 15% now....and would likely rise to about 20% next year. I believe next year Michigan’s unemployment rate will be in double digits and the nation’s unemployment rate will reach about 7%.

That said....an official unemployment rate today distorts/understates reality. I don’t call it the unemployment rate…..I call their official numbers “the unemployment euphemism” . Its really not the TRUE unemployment rate because it does not include “discouraged workers”, which are workers who have been looking for a job for so long that they have become discouraged to the degree that they stop looking during the month that the survey was taken (yes…the unemployment rate is determined by a phone survey of some 50,000 sample set). Furthermore, employment masks the number of people who are only work part time….because they cannot find full time work.

I am not an economist.....but I did spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:20 AM
 
83 posts, read 359,086 times
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Thinking back to my economy class I remember them saying that unemployent rates can actually be lower then what is reported. Something to do with wanting to work. For instance, they might count someone who has the ability to work, but decides not to, as unemployed. Say a stay at home mom/dad. Maybe they took a few years off to raise a family. Voluntary unemployent but unemployement nonetheless.

Who knows how skewed those survey's can be. Maybe someone can better comment on it.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:53 AM
 
9,948 posts, read 6,884,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sikes0000 View Post
Thinking back to my economy class I remember them saying that unemployent rates can actually be lower then what is reported. Something to do with wanting to work. For instance, they might count someone who has the ability to work, but decides not to, as unemployed. Say a stay at home mom/dad. Maybe they took a few years off to raise a family. Voluntary unemployent but unemployement nonetheless.

Who knows how skewed those survey's can be. Maybe someone can better comment on it.


Well…anyone who had the ability to work but was not looking for work would fall under “discouraged workers” and would not be counted in the unemployment rate anyway. So I would dispute the theory that it could actually be LOWER than reported, at least not for that reason.

One has to keep in mind spatial and logistical reasons for unemployment, as well as structural, cyclical and transitional (if they still use that term) . Most Job growth is in the suburbs and exurbs of metropolitan areas. The highest rates of unemployment are in the inner cities. This creates logistical problems if a region has inadequate mass transportation, as many poor people have undependable or no transportation to drive 20 miles out to the suburbs to work at some new retail establishment that just opened and needs workers. Moreover, the poor are probably unaware that there is a job opening because they don’t frequent the area and don't know people who do and have no connections or network....which is how most of these jobs are filled.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:44 AM
 
16 posts, read 49,411 times
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I agree with Leadsquirter about one of the differences being that you eventually got called back to work in the 80's. All anyone needs to do is drive through any town in Michigan and notice how many factories and stores are boarded up to understand the impact of today's economy. We didn't have a fraction of the number of permanent closures of businesses in the 80's as we do today. Of course, we didn't have NAFTA then either. Government at it's finest, eh?

I'm certain that the 80's caused the mental midgets downtown (Lansing) to decide (for us) that Michigan should be an "Information State" instead of a manufacturing state. Too bad they didn't consider that they could and should encourage BOTH industries equally. Everyone needs to work but not everyone can afford or is interested in a 4 year college education.

Being a technology oriented economy is fine but sooner or later, somewhere down the line, SOMEONE has to manufacture and assemble the components to build the super computer or robotics or whatever kind of widget it takes to apply that technology. Every manufacturing job given to a foreign worker by NAFTA is an opportunity squandered for us.

Well anyway, to me the current situation is worse than the 80's. If you're blue collar, there are no decent paying jobs out there unless you are someone's uncle, fishing buddy, or willing to work for half of what you used to make. If you're white collar there are SOME jobs out there but they all pay more in other states and job security is a thing of the past for all of us.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:09 PM
 
9,948 posts, read 6,884,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 tracker View Post
I agree with Leadsquirter about one of the differences being that you eventually got called back to work in the 80's. All anyone needs to do is drive through any town in Michigan and notice how many factories and stores are boarded up to understand the impact of today's economy. We didn't have a fraction of the number of permanent closures of businesses in the 80's as we do today. Of course, we didn't have NAFTA then either. Government at it's finest, eh?

I'm certain that the 80's caused the mental midgets downtown (Lansing) to decide (for us) that Michigan should be an "Information State" instead of a manufacturing state. Too bad they didn't consider that they could and should encourage BOTH industries equally. Everyone needs to work but not everyone can afford or is interested in a 4 year college education.

Being a technology oriented economy is fine but sooner or later, somewhere down the line, SOMEONE has to manufacture and assemble the components to build the super computer or robotics or whatever kind of widget it takes to apply that technology. Every manufacturing job given to a foreign worker by NAFTA is an opportunity squandered for us.

Well anyway, to me the current situation is worse than the 80's. If you're blue collar, there are no decent paying jobs out there unless you are someone's uncle, fishing buddy, or willing to work for half of what you used to make. If you're white collar there are SOME jobs out there but they all pay more in other states and job security is a thing of the past for all of us.
I donít agree with that. There were thousands of auto jobs completely eliminated in the 80ís. Flint Michigan was devastated, as one example, and these jobs NEVER came back for people to be called back to. Massive number of people left the state, which would not have happened if they were eventually called back. The states population declined and was actually stagnant for a whole decade.

NAFTA is often an easy target, but the problem for Michigan is that the Auto industry keeps loosing market share for foreign companies. If it still enjoyed the market share it once did, thousands of auto jobs would still be in Michigan. Furthermore, automation and innovation, such as the use of robotics, eliminated thousands of jobs as well. All these jobs loses were not simply the result of relocation to other countries due to NAFTA. If not for building plants in other nations with cheap labor cost, the Big three would have been out of business some time ago. If that happened there would be even less jobs, unless a Japanese Chinese company brought them out and they would have likely moved the operations South, headquarters and all.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida
78 posts, read 220,347 times
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In 1982 I was 22 and an unemployed electronic technician that had worked in a TV and Appliance store. I put an ad in the paper for TV repair and I actually had a fairly good amount of business. I remember just after Thanksgiving it was like someone threw a big switch. Work went down to about zero. I left for Florida the day after Christmas.

The economy in Florida at the time was much better. There were "Help Wanted" signs in stores - something I hadn't seen in Michigan in quite awhile. Currently, the economy in Florida seems to be worse than the way it was in the 1980s. At least from my perspective. Forclosures along with high homeowner's insurance and property taxes has really had a negative impact on the economy.

I hope things turn around for Michigan. My brother has been out of work for several months. I enjoyed living there and would like to someday retire on some acreage in the northern part of the state.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Old west side, Ann Arbor, MI
689 posts, read 2,044,767 times
Reputation: 279
Certainly the 80's proved to be tragic for smaller Mid Michigan communities, look at Jackson, Flint, BCreek and others....and while they may have recovered to some extent, for the most part, the mortgage paying wages have dissipated to nearly zero. I agree with other opinions in that things aren't seeming to be "picking up" per say, and the true amount of people unemployed is a mystery for a reason.
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