Unemployment Claims Surge In Michigan and Missouri

Despite all the positive news in the media about the American job market, it seems as though things in some states aren’t looking as good. New figures from the Department of Labor have revealed some noteworthy trends in two key states. Let’s take a look.

Unemployment Woes

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While the labor market looks good for many, things aren’t going so well for those in Michigan and Missouri. 

Troubling Trends in Michigan and Missouri

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According to new data, both these states saw increases in people filing for unemployment insurance benefits in the last month. 

Job Losses Across America

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These figures are the latest in a growing trend as states across the U.S. have been grappling with job losses – for example, in Connecticut, Washington and Rhode Island, which have all seen an uptick in unemployment of around 0.2% in the last few months.

National Concern

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In February, the national unemployment rate hit 3.9%, which was up .2% in January, prompting fears that it may exceed 4% for the first time in over two years.

Economic Anxiety

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Michigan saw 1,443 new jobless claims being filed, while Missouri saw 1,204. 

Manufacturing Meltdown

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These job losses have hit the automobile industry and the manufacturing sector the hardest, both sectors that are currently having to lay off portions of their workforce due to production and contract issues.

General Motors Woes

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General Motors (GM) in Michigan has delayed production on two new all-electric pickups, which has meant they’ve had to layoff almost 1400 employes from two plants, the Orion Assembly facility and the Lansing Grand River Assembly/Stamping plant. 

General Motors’ Struggles Impact Michigan Workers

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They’d previously announced plans to lay off 1,314 workers just before Christmas, with layoffs occurring this month.

Layoffs Loom Over Michigan Plants

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GM cut 900 jobs at Cruise, their self-driving arm, in February – about 24% of their workforce.

Missouri’s Job Crisis

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In Missouri layoffs have hit the Missouri Central Bus Company (MCB) after they terminated their contract with the district early. 

School Bus Struggles

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According to the school district, the company wanted an extra $2 million despite not having hit any performance goals for the last three semesters. 

Missouri Faces Unprecedented Industry Challenges

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MCB’s regional manager stated that the money was needed “to address unprecedented industry inflation and a nationwide school bus driver shortage.”  

Contract Dispute Fallout

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This was a strained relationship, which was worsened after a mass bus driver walkout over alleged racism at the company. 

Hundreds of Job Losses

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The end of this contract means the loss of 332 jobs for full-time and part-time employees. However, the district is looking for a new vendor with the hopes that laid-off bus drivers may be hired.

Student Transportation Shake-Up

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The Student Transportation of America bus company in Kansas is also planning to lay off around 150 employees in the next few months after losing a contract to Zum – a company bankrolled by investment firms.

Industry Turmoil

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Other sectors have already announced a spate of layoffs, with employees in biotech, Big Tech and food manufacturing taking the hit.

Biden’s Economic Optimism

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Despite all this doom and gloom, Biden has attested that “America once again has the strongest economy in the world” in his 2024 Economic Report of the President released last week.

Despite Layoffs, President Paints Rosy Picture

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“A record 15 million jobs have been created on my watch” Biden wrote, while continuing “The unemployment rate has been below 4 percent for the longest stretch in over 50 years.”

Economic Report

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Data from the Department of Labor corroborates this as, despite a rise in unemployment claims, figures are still below projections. 

Labor Market Concerns

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There are worries from some experts that there may be an incoming rise in unemployment, causing recently laid-off workers to struggle to rejoin the workforce. 

Experts Warn of Incoming Rise in Unemployment

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They point to signs like companies announcing layoffs and more people searching online about losing their jobs as indicators for this. 

Interest Rate Cuts Loom Amidst Economic Slowdown Fears

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Whether this will all cause the U.S labor market to slowdown remains to be seen, but if it does it could prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to help boost economic activity, create jobs and reduce unemployment.

The post Unemployment Claims Surge In Michigan and Missouri first appeared on Wealthy Living.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.