Michigan's July jobless rate declines slightly

August 23, 2010
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Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July was little changed, edging downward over the month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 13.1 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. The state’s labor force recorded a reduction of 18,000 in July, with total employment declining by 14,000. The number of unemployed in Michigan also edged down slightly over the month.

The Michigan jobless rate in July 2010 was one and one-tenth percentage points below the July 2009 rate of 14.2 percent.  The national jobless rate increased slightly by one-tenth of a percentage point over this period.

Michigan’s manufacturing job market has stabilized thus far in 2010. Automakers and suppliers minimized July retooling layoffs, reflecting streamlined production schedules, strong vehicle sales and lean inventories.

Monthly labor force trends

  • Michigan’s monthly unemployment rates have been trending downward throughout 2010. Since December 2009, the  rate has fallen by nearly 1½  percentage points.

  • U.S. and Michigan 2010 jobless rates remain well above pre-recessionary levels.

  • The state’s labor force in early 2010 registered consecutive monthly gains through May. Since May, Michigan recorded a labor force reduction of 39,000, bringing the July total to levels similar to the first quarter 2010.

  • Since July 2009, Michigan total employment increased slightly by 12,000 or 0.3 percent.

  • From July 2009 to July 2010, unemployment in Michigan fell by 56,000 or 8.1 percent. Nationally, unemployment advanced slightly by 0.4 percent.

July payroll jobs jump

According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs increased in July by 28,000 to 3,876,000. Manufacturing jobs rose sharply by 20,000, mostly reflecting fewer seasonal retooling layoffs in the auto industry. Lesser July job gains were posted in government (+5,000) and trade, transportation and utilities (+4,000). The remaining major industry sectors in the state reported minor offsetting gains and losses over the month.

  • Manufacturing jobs in Michigan have been steady so far in 2010. The large over-the-month gain in the seasonally adjusted job count revealed a deviation from the normal vacation shutdown/retooling period in the auto industry. A number of plants remained operational in July, resulting in far fewer supplier layoffs than normal.

  • Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities steadily declined from October 2009 through March 2010. Since March, jobs in this sector have increased by around 8,000, and as of July, essentially matched job levels posted in mid-2009.

  • Both the financial activities and the information sectors recorded substantial monthly job losses in 2009 and into early 2010. Since early spring 2010, job levels in both sectors have stabilized. However since July 2009, these categories posted two of the three largest percentage job declines of any of the state’s major sectors. Information registered the largest drop of 7.7 percent, while financial activities fell by 4.3 percent.

  • After posting monthly job losses since summer 2009, leisure and hospitality services has reported two consecutive monthly job gains. Since May, jobs increased in this sector by 6,000.

  • From July 2009 to July 2010, payroll jobs in Michigan increased by 22,000 or 0.6 percent. Over this period, professional and business services (+25,000), manufacturing (+21,000) and educations and health services (+12,000) displayed the only major-sector job gains. Government (-9,000), financial activities (-8,000), and construction (-7,000) recorded the most pronounced job losses.

  • Seasonally adjusted average weekly hours and earnings of production workers in manufacturing increased over the month, as well as over the year.

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

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