Jobl rate unchanged

April 19, 2010
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Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was unchanged over the month at 14.1 percent, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. Total employment edged upward by 8,000 in March, while unemployment declined slightly by 2,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate in March was flat at 9.7 percent.

The state’s jobless rate in March 2010 was one and a half percentage points above the March 2009 rate of 12.6 percent. The national jobless rate increased by one and one-tenth percentage points over this period.

The overall trend for Michigan’s labor market three months into 2010 is a stable jobless rate and moderating job losses.The latest quarter compared favorably to the first quarter 2009, when the state was experiencing dramatic job losses and monthly jobless rate jumps.

Monthly labor force trends

  • Michigan’s first quarter 2010 unemployment rate of 14.2 percent edged downward from its fourth quarter 2009 rate of 14.4 percent. Over that period, total employment grew slightly by 12,000, while unemployment decreased by 14,000.

  • The state’s labor force in March increased for the third consecutive month. This was the first three-month work force gain in Michigan since September-November 2006.

  • From March 2009 to March 2010, unemployment in Michigan increased by 60,000 or 9.6 percent. Nationally, unemployment rose 12.7 percent in the same period.

  • According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs declined in March by 10,000 to 3,826,000. March job losses were minor, but widespread throughout a number of industry sectors. The other services sector reported a 4,000 decrease over the month, while the financial activities and leisure and hospitality sectors both recorded a 3,000 decline. Lesser job reductions of around 2,000 each were posted in government, education and health services, and transportation equipment.

Rick Waclawek is the director of DELEG’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

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