With elections approaching this fall, Michigan's economy is being heavily analyzed.
And the federal government gives varying estimates of how well Michigan is doing in employment.
Consider the two monthly employment surveys the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does. Michigan's results differ depending on whether it's the household survey (about 60,000 households) or the establishment survey (about 440,000 individual worksites).
According to the household survey, Michigan added 89,915 jobs from April 2013 to April 2014.
According to the establishment survey, Michigan added 24,300 jobs from April 2013 to April 2014.
In that April-to-April calculation, Michigan exceeded the U.S. in percentage increase in the household survey, while in the establishment survey, the Michigan growth lagged behind the national average.
"Some people are saying Michigan's economy has not improved above the national average," said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "But it depends on which numbers you check."
The national economy started adding jobs in the household survey starting in December 2009. The establishment survey started capturing job growth in February 2010.
With the establishment survey, Michigan had 3.835 million jobs in February 2010 while the U.S. had 129.655 million jobs. In the most recent data from April 2014, Michigan had 4.116 million jobs while the U.S. had 138.252 jobs. That’s a 7.3 percent increase for Michigan and a 6.6 percent increase for the U.S.
With the household survey, Michigan had 4.130 million jobs in December 2009 while the U.S. had 138.013 million jobs. In the most recent data from April 2014, Michigan had 4.389 million jobs and the U.S. had 145.669 million jobs. That’s a 6.3 percent increase for Michigan and 5.5 percent increase from the U.S.
"People can argue about how much Gov. Snyder's policies have influenced the overall trends, but they should acknowledge that the state has experienced solid job recovery," Hohman said.