Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Detroit: Some Disassembly Required


619Ifa9xMHL__SL500_AA300_Photo Credit: Andrew Moore

Well look at you, little Timmy Geithner! All grown up and writing misleading editorials for the Washington Post instead of just forgetting to pay your taxes.

Let’s just cut to the chase: Geithner’s claim:

While it remains unacceptably high, Detroit’s unemployment has fallen nearly one-third over the past two years. The car companies are leading a comeback in American manufacturing. And while we will not get back all of our investments in the industry, we will recover much more than most predicted, and far sooner.

The reality, explained by Ed Morrissey:

Well, that’s true … as far as it goes.  The jobless rate for Detroit spiked to 15.9% in September 2009 before settling down to April’s 11.3%.  However, Detroit unemployment was 12.3% in January 2009, when Obama took office, so the actual delta for his entire term is one percentage point.  Over a two-year period — the time frame Geithner uses — it dropped about three percentage points (from 14.5%), which would be more like a fifth than a third.

But that’s still deceptive.  Geithner uses these numbers to claim some sort of hiring renaissance in Detroit, but the employment numbers tell a different story.  When Obama took office, there were 713,300 jobs in metropolitan Detroit.  That bottomed out to 680,900 in June 2009, after the politically-machinated bankruptcies pushed by the Obama administration.  The latest figures for April 2011 show 695,200 jobs in Detroit, an overall drop of 18,000 jobs.  For the wider Detroit area, the job level started at 1.7822 million in January 2009, and now stands at 1.7398 million in April 2011, a drop of more than 43,000 jobs.  Statewide, jobs declined from 3.9488 million in January 2009 to 3.9119 in April 2009.

As you can see, those of us stuck in Michigan are way ahead of Obama’s Winning the Future curve. That’s WTF to you, chumps.


Detroit: Made in America, disassembled in Washington.