LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A University of Michigan economist says the state likely saw a net gain in jobs in the last three months of 2009.
The addition of about 10,000 jobs won't do much to help Michigan's highest-in-the-nation unemployment rate, which economist George Fulton expects will remain around 15 percent through much of 2010.
But Fulton told state government economists Monday at the revenue estimating conference that a small net job gain is a welcome change from the huge job losses Michigan saw in the first half of 2009.
Fulton estimates the state will have lost 278,000 jobs in 2009 once December figures are in. Most of those were in the hard-hit auto sector.
He estimates Michigan won't again gain more jobs than it loses annually until late 2011.