State's Jobless Rate Increases

August 18, 2004
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LANSING — Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July increased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.8 percent, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

Employment decreased by 7,000 and unemployment increased by 15,000 as the state civilian labor force edged upward by 8,000.

“There was a large increase in the number of persons on short-term layoff in July,” said Bruce Weaver, acting director of DLEG’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Seasonal job cuts were somewhat larger than what is normally expected for July in both auto-related manufacturing and local government education. Typically, short-term layoffs occur in manufacturing in July due to annual retooling for model changeover in the auto industry.”

Even with July’s increase, Michigan’s unemployment level in July was only 7,000 or 1.9 percent above the January 2004 level. In that period, the state’s jobless rate increased slightly by two-tenths of a percentage point.

Michigan’s July 2004 jobless rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the July 2003 rate of 7.5 percent.

Over the year, jobless rates in both Michigan and the U.S. have declined by an identical seven-tenths of a percentage point.

Total employment statewide declined for the second consecutive month in July. Prior to June, Michigan’s employment level had been relatively stable for the first five months of 2004.

The state’s unemployment rate was over a full percentage point above the July 2004 national rate of 5.5 percent.    

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