LANSING, Mich. -- For the first time in 11 years, Michigan is expected to add more jobs than it loses in 2011.
Yet there's little reason to toast the new year just yet.
University of Michigan economist George Fulton expects the state to add about 6,300 net jobs next year and 48,000 in 2012, giving the state an average 12.4 percent unemployment rate in 2011 and 11.5 percent in 2012.
The state still has a long way to go, though, to replace the nearly 860,000 jobs it has lost since the economy began sliding in June 2000.
Even a welcome 2-percentage-point drop in the unemployment rate over the past year leaves it with a rate of 12.4 percent.
That puts it behind only Nevada and tied for second place with California.