Michigan's unemployment rate down slightly

October 25, 2010
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Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September edged downward over the month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 13.0 percent, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. Unemployment declined by 9,000 in September, while total employment nudged upward by 4,000. The U.S. unemployment rate in September was unchanged at 9.6 percent.

The Michigan jobless rate in September 2010 was one and four-tenths percentage points below the September 2009 rate of 14.4 percent. The national jobless rate decreased slightly by two-tenths of a percentage point over this period.

Michigan’s labor market in late summer 2010 was relatively steady. Payroll job totals showed only minor changes over the month, as well as over the year.

Monthly labor force trends

The state’s jobless rate in 2010 has been trending downward. Since January, Michigan’s unemployment rate has fallen by one and three-tenths percentage points.

From the second to the third quarter 2010, Michigan’s quarterly jobless rate declined by a half percentage point to 13.1 percent. Over this period, the number of unemployed in the state fell by 29,000. However, total employment also decreased, edging downward by 12,000.

Michigan’s unemployment rate in September was at the lowest level since March 2009.

Total employment in Michigan has advanced, with a gain of 34,000, or 0.8 percent, since September 2009.

From September 2009 to September 2010, unemployment in Michigan fell by 74,000, or 10.6 percent. Nationally, unemployment declined slightly by 2.6 percent in the same period.

Payroll jobs edge down

According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs declined slightly in September by 13,000 to 3,823,000. Relatively minor over-the-month job reductions were posted in education and health services (-6,000), government (-4,000), leisure and hospitality services (-3,000), and construction (-2,000). These declines were slightly offset by September job gains in manufacturing (+3,000), and professional and business services (+2,000). The remaining statewide industry sectors reported lesser changes over the month.

Industry employment trends

Michigan posted in September the lowest monthly payroll job count during 2010.

Construction jobs in Michigan advanced earlier in the year from January to April. However, since April, construction jobs have fallen by 9,000 or 7.4 percent.

The September decrease in leisure and hospitality services jobs reversed an upward trend that had occurred from June through August. Even with the minor over-the-month decline, this sector’s September job count was well above its pre-summer levels.

From September 2009 to September 2010, payroll jobs in Michigan edged down slightly by 7,000 or 0.2 percent. Over this period, job reductions in government (-11,000), financial activities (-8,000), and construction (-6,000) nearly matched gains in professional and business services (+14,000), manufacturing (+8,000), and education and health services (+5,000). The remaining major sectors reported mostly minor declines since September 2009.

Seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings of production workers in manufacturing increased over the month as well as over the year. Seasonally adjusted weekly hours were little changed both over the month and over the year.

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

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