​Michigan has borne its share of economic troubles, even before the rest of the nation worked its way through the “Great Recession,” but the spring of 2011 may be a time of rebirth for the Great Lakes state.

Economic data collected at the start of the year pegged Michigan’s unemployment rate at a three-year low, with thousands of jobs being added to a region accustomed to hearing the opposite. It’s a start at least, experts say.

Beyond data, there has been a shift, albeit over the short term, in public perception about the state, and its most-noted locale: Detroit.

From wall-to-wall Chrysler television ads featuring Eminem on the Motor City’s perseverance, to articles in USA Today pointing to a budding renaissance in entrepreneurism with a new governor in office, to General Motors repaying government “bailout” funds early, the era of “only negative” news seems to be at an end.