UM forecasts 15.8% Michigan jobless rate in 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI – University of Michigan economists say the state's hard times will stick around for the rest of the year and into 2010.

Economic forecaster George Fulton says he and colleague Joan Crary "see some improvement, but it will continue to be slow and difficult."

They predict unemployment will average 15.8% in 2010, the highest rate since the current counting system began in 1970.

In a midyear forecast of the Michigan economy Monday, the researchers predict jobs will fall at a 5.2% annual rate in the second half of 2009. They say Michigan will lose about 311,000 jobs this year.

They say jobs will fall at a 2.7% annual rate in early 2010 and believe the number of jobs will be about stable by the end of next year.