Jobless rate tracks upward

April 20, 2009
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Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March advanced by six-tenths of a percentage point to 12.6 percent, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. Total employment fell by 41,000 over the month while unemployment increased by 25,000. The Michigan labor force edged down by 16,000 in March.

The U.S. unemployment rate also continued its upward trend, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point to 8.5 percent.

Michigan’s March 2009 jobless rate rose five full percentage points above the state’s March 2008 rate of 7.6 percent.  In the same period, the national jobless rate also registered a significant jump, rising by three and four-tenths percentage points.

Monthly labor force trends and highlights:

  • Almost half of the state’s over-the-year jobless rate increase has occurred since December.

  • Michigan’s unemployment rate has risen over the past year at a faster pace than any 12-month period since 1980.

  • The state’s first quarter 2009 jobless rate of 12.1 percent rose by two and a half percentage points above the fourth quarter 2008 rate of 9.6 percent.

  • Since March 2008, unemployment in Michigan increased by 232,000 or 61.5 percent.  Unemployment nationally rose by 68.3 percent in the same period.                                  

According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs declined in March by 23,000 to total 3,941,000.  The largest payroll job reduction over the month was recorded in professional and business services.

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