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Michigan's March Jobless Rate Tracks Upward

Contact: Mario L. Morrow (517) 373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

April 15, 2009 – Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March advanced by six-tenths of a percentage point to 12.6 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).  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 in March 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.

"The weakness in the auto industry along with the national recession have severely impacted Michigan's labor market over the past year," said Rick Waclawek, director of DELEG's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.  "Recent job loss nationally and in Michigan has increasingly affected a wide spectrum of industries, with a higher share of cuts coming from the service sector."

Monthly Labor Force Trends & 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 twelve-month period since 1980.

  • The state's 1st quarter 2009 jobless rate of 12.1 percent rose by two and a half percentage points above the 4th 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.

Note:  Seasonally adjusted labor force estimates from 2004 to 2008 for Michigan and the Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area were recently revised.  For newly revised data, go to www.michigan.gov/lmi or contact DELEG at 313-456-3090.

MICHIGAN
Labor Force Estimates
Seasonally Adjusted
(Data in Thousands)

 

March
2008

February
2009

March
2009


Change

       

Month

Year

Civilian Labor  Force

4,961

4,858

4,842

-16

-119

Employment

4,584

4,274

4,233

-41

-351

Unemployment

377

584

609

25

232

Rate (Percent)

7.6

12.0

12.6

xxx

xxx

 

Detroit Metropolitan Area's March Jobless Rate Up Slightly

The Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area's (MSA's) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March edged upward by two-tenths of a percentage point to 13.3 percent.  March marked the smallest monthly up tick in the MSA's jobless rate since October. The area's total employment and labor force levels declined over the month by 18,000 and 16,000 respectively, leaving the number of unemployed little changed.

From March 2008 to March 2009, the metropolitan area's jobless rate advanced by five and one-tenth percentage points, which was essentially the same increase as the state.  Since March 2008, total employment fell by 145,000 and unemployment rose by 103,000.  The area's work force declined by 43,000 in this period.

Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA
Labor Force Estimates
Seasonally Adjusted
(Data in Thousands)

 

March
2008

February
2009

March
2009


Change

       

Month

Year

Civilian Labor Force

2,116

2,089

2,073

-16

-43

Employment

1,943

1,816

1,798

-18

-145

Unemployment

173

273

276

3

103

Rate (Percent)

8.2

13.1

13.3

xxx

xxx

 

Payroll Jobs Decline in March

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 (-8,000).  Lesser job cuts were reported in trade, transportation and utilities (-4,000), construction (-3,000) and in leisure and hospitality services (-3,000).  The state's remaining major industry sectors registered less significant changes of around 2,000 or less in March.

Industry Employment Trends and Highlights

  • The pace of statewide job losses moderated somewhat in the last two months.  Since January, payroll jobs declined in Michigan by 34,000 as compared to the 116,000 drop recorded in the two-month period from November to January.

  • The manufacturing sector was the only major job category to show an increase in March.  After reporting a drop of 54,000 jobs from December to January, this sector has remained steady, mostly buoyed by minor recalls in the auto industry.

  • With another monthly drop in payroll jobs, professional and business services continued its string of job losses.  This sector, which has lost an average of over 5,000 jobs a month since March 2008, ranks second to manufacturing in over-the-year declines in Michigan.

  • From March 2008 to March 2009, payroll jobs in Michigan fell by 271,000 or 6.4 percent.  Nearly all industry sectors within the state registered job losses in this period.  However three sectors; manufacturing, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and utilities, accounted for over 80 percent of the state's overall job loss.

  • Education and health services (+9,000), was the only major industry sector in the state to report a gain since March 2008.  However, this sector has shown only minor increases since October.

  • Seasonally adjusted average weekly hours of production workers in manufacturing were unchanged over the month, but fell over the year.  Average weekly earnings in manufacturing increased over the month, but dropped over the year.

MICHIGAN

Payroll Employment Estimates

Seasonally Adjusted

(Data in Thousands)

                   
         

March

February*

March**

CHANGE***

         

2008

2009

2009

MONTH

YEAR

                   

Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

4211

3963

3941

-23

-271

 

Natural Resources & Mining

8

8

8

0

0

 

Construction

159

146

143

-3

-16

 

Manufacturing

590

492

493

2

-96

   

Transportation Equipment

179

130

134

4

-46

 

Trade, Transportation & Utilities

781

733

729

-4

-52

   

Retail Trade

485

464

462

-2

-23

 

Information

63

60

58

-1

-4

 

Financial Activities

208

196

195

-1

-12

 

Professional & Business Services

575

512

504

-8

-71

 

Education & Health Services

605

615

614

0

9

 

Leisure & Hospitality Services

400

388

386

-3

-15

 

Other Services

176

172

170

-2

-6

 

Government

646

641

640

-1

-7

                   
   

* Final data for February

       
   

** Preliminary data for March

       
   

*** Change calculated using unrounded data

   
                   

Hours & Earnings for Production Workers

Seasonally Adjusted

                   

Manufacturing

         

March

February

March

Change

         

2008

2009

2009

MONTH

YEAR

                   
   

Average Weekly Earnings

$972.31

$877.45

$882.39

    $4.94      

-$89.92 

   

Average Weekly Hours

43.2

40.4

40.4

       0.0

     -2.8

                   

Transportation Equipment

                   
   

Average Weekly Earnings

 $1,286.89

 $1,123.08

 $1,125.17

    $2.09

-$161.72

   

Average Weekly Hours

 44.9

39.6

40.4

        0.8

       -4.5

 

The Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) is investing in Michigan's future by helping to create the jobs of today and tomorrow, ensuring that our children and adults have the skills these jobs demand, making Michigan a better place to do business, and training and placing those who need jobs now.

Note to Editors:  Please ensure that the source for state unemployment rates reads "Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth."

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