A month ago we examined how Michigan was performing under the tutelage of Gov. Rick Snyder. As it turned out, Michigan was performing poorly, very poorly. Gov. Snyder’s most prized metrics – jobs and value-for-money government – were both showing negative trends on the Governor’s own MiDashboard; that is, both unemployment and the cost of delivering services to Michigan’s citizens were increasing.

Up until a few days ago, Gov. Snyder was measuring unemployment on a month-to-month basis. At last count, using the original metric, Michigan’s unemployment rate had increased from 10.7{ef69e4e9e447e52a60027e369ac6a3d796f53805e5a70de1d67ce22dac9553da} to 10.9{ef69e4e9e447e52a60027e369ac6a3d796f53805e5a70de1d67ce22dac9553da}, nearly two full points above the national average. Today, Michigan’s unemployment rate is a hard hitting 11.2{ef69e4e9e447e52a60027e369ac6a3d796f53805e5a70de1d67ce22dac9553da}. Again, Gov. Snyder’s Michigan has seen a loss in jobs.

So why does the Governor’s  MiDashboard indicate that Michigan’s unemployment rate is improving as signified by the upwards green arrow?

Simple. Gov. Snyder moved the goalposts.

Now, the MiDashboard tracks unemployment – and only unemployment – differently: against the unemployment rate of the same month from the previous year. Other than flipping that red downward facing arrow green, why would Gov. Snyder make such a change?

Also simple. So he can say things like this:

“We’re improving,” Snyder said. “Compared to a year ago, we’re better off than what we were — the state has created jobs — but there are some changes that haven’t even started yet.”

See how he did that? Our unemployment rate is increasing but “we’re improving.” Neat trick, and it may fool a few.

But it didn’t fool us. And it won’t fool you. Under Gov. Snyder, Michigan’s unemployment rate is increasing, more children are living in poverty, personal income levels are falling, and operating costs are increasing. This is what happens when you get “four years worth of work done” in six months.

That’s not simple, fair, or efficient.


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