Midwest Memo: Unemployment rises in Ohio, small-business loan program starts in Michigan

Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Unemployment rises in Ohio. Unemployment rates climbed in 84 of Ohio’s 88 counties in June, providing more evidence the economy has slowed. It’s the first time since early 2010 the Buckeye State’s unemployment rate rose. The state rate climbed to 8.8 percent in June, up from 8.6 percent in May, according to Cincinnati.com. Manufacturing jobs declined by approximately 3,000 in June, but government jobs diminished more. More than 7,000 were lost last month.

2. Loan program starts in Michigan. Michigan will be the first state eligible for small-business loans given by a federal government program to businesses investing in clean energy or located in economically troubled areas, according to the Associated Press. Details of the plan, part of President Obama’s “Start-Up America” initiative, are expected to be announced this afternoon. The initiative combines private institutional investors and federal funds to invest in targeted companies.

3. Gary, Ind. endures property-tax nightmare. One in three homeowners in Gary, Ind., has missed a property-tax payment. Worse, the city only collects 72.4 percent of its expected revenues, the lowest percentage of any Indiana city. Our partner WBEZ examines a wave of property-tax problems affecting Gary and the consequences of the shortfall, such as keeping police on their beats and providing basic education functions.

Midwest Memo: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Manufacturing output in the Midwest increased by almost two percent between February and March, according to the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index, released this morning. Regional manufacturing output was up 12.5 percent in March compared to March a year earlier, and national output was up by 7.1 percent. Manufacturing was one of the most badly hit sectors of the economy during the recession, but now it’s proving to be rebounding during the recovery.

Tax day has come and gone, but Michigan is still hoping to collect $90 million in unpaid taxes. The state is offering a tax amnesty program to the hundreds of thousands of people and businesses who may have neglected to pay their taxes on time through the end of June.

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