LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Economic forecasters say Michigan economy is off to a stronger-than-expected start for the year.
The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report that the University of Michigan's Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics expects the state to add 64,600 jobs this year. The seminar's Director George Fulton says the updated forecast released Monday also includes job gains of 61,500 in 2012.
Both predictions are stronger than forecast in November.
Fulton expects Michigan's unemployment rate to drop to 9.9 percent by the last quarter of this year and to reach 9.5 percent by the end of 2012.
Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 10.4 percent. That was a decrease of three-tenths of a percentage point and was well below the February 2010 rate of 13.5 percent.