Employment Up For Second Month

November 20, 2003
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LANSING — The Michigan Department of Career Development (MDCD) reported that Michigan’s employment rose by 25,000, increasing a second consecutive month for the first time this year.

In fact, it was only the second time since 2000 that employment increased two months in a row. 

While employment rose by 25,000, unemployment also rose, increasing by 11,000 as the state civilian labor force advanced by 35,000.  The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October edged upward by from 7.5 to 7.6 percent, September’s rate was revised upward from 7.4 to 7.5 percent. 

“A relatively large number of individuals entered the state’s work force over the month,” said John Palmer, deputy director for workforce programs. “While we are pleased that many workers found employment, a number of workers did not.”

The state’s jobless rate was more than one and a half percentage points above the October 2003 national rate of 6.0 percent. Michigan’s October unemployment rate was the highest monthly rate for the state since January 1992’s 7.8 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate in 2002 remained within the narrow band of 6.1 to 6.3 percent but this year increased almost every month.

Michigan’s October 2003 jobless rate was one and a half percentage points higher than the October 2002 rate of 6.1 percent.

Although Michigan unemployment has exceeded the national rate for almost three years, the two rates have been on parallel tracks through the end of 2002. For roughly two years, the state’s jobless rate ran about a half a percentage point above the national rate. Since the beginning of 2003, the two have diverged.

From January 2003 to October 2003, the state’s rate increased one and four-tenths percentage points while the national rate advanced only three-tenths of a percentage point.

According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs in October increased by 3,000 to total 4,413,000. Payroll employment was mixed with education and health services, up 7,000; government, up 5,000; and manufacturing, up 4,000 were offset by job losses in professional and business services, down 7,000 and leisure and hospitality, down 6,000.

The remaining industry sectors recorded minor offsetting gains or declines.

So far this year, two industry sectors have shown relatively strong growth statewide.  Both trade, transportation, and utilities, the largest industry category, as well as education and health services increased employment by around 7,000 each since January 2003.

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