May Unemployment Rates Down in Most Michigan Regional Labor Markets

Lansing – Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in May declined seasonally in 14 of the state’s 17 major labor market areas, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.  Total employment rose in all areas over the month, while workforce levels increased in most regions.

“As is typical for May, the primary labor market changes in May 2018 occurred in the state’s northern lower Michigan regions as hiring for the tourism season escalated,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives.  “Since May 2017, employment has increased, and unemployment rates have fallen in the majority of Michigan’s local areas.”

During May, the jobless rate reductions in the 14 regions ranged from 0.1 to 2.1 percentage points with a median decline of 0.3 of a percentage point.  The largest rate drops by far were recorded in the state’s three northernmost areas which include the Northeast Lower Michigan region (-2.1), the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-1.2) and the Upper Peninsula (-1.1).  The next largest decreases of 0.5 of a percentage point were posted in both the Bay City and Midland Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).  May jobless rates increased slightly in the Monroe (+0.3), Ann Arbor (+0.2) and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (+0.1) MSAs.  In May, regional unemployment rates in Michigan ranged from 2.9 to 5.9 percent.  The May Michigan non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 3.8 percent, while the national unadjusted rate was 3.6 percent.

Unemployment Rates Down Slightly Over Year

Since May 2017, jobless rates declined in 16 of the 17 Michigan regions.  Decreases ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 of a percentage point with a median rate cut of 0.3 of a percentage point.  The largest over-the-year reduction of a half percentage point occurred in the Bay City MSA, while four other regions recorded declines of 0.4 of a percentage point.  The unemployment rate in the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA rose slightly by 0.3 of a percentage point since May 2017.

Total Employment Up Over Month, Year

From April to May, total employment levels rose seasonally in all 17 regions.  Employment gains were wide-ranging from 0.1 to 5.0 percent with a solid median advance of 1.1 percent.  The most pronounced over-the-month employment increases were registered in the Northeast Lower Michigan region (+5.0%) and the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+4.3%).  Combined these two areas recorded an employment gain of nearly 10,000 in May as employers continued hiring for the summer tourism season.

Since May 2017, total employment grew in 16 areas with a sturdy median increase of 1.2 percent.  The largest gains over this period were recorded in the Ann Arbor (+3.4%) and Grand Rapids-Wyoming (+2.6%) MSAs along with the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+2.0%).  Employment was down slightly by 0.1 percent over the year in the Niles-Benton Harbor MSA.

Labor Force Levels Up Over Month, Year

Between April and May, workforce levels rose seasonally in 13 areas with gains ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 percent.  The labor force in the Upper Peninsula declined slightly over the month (-0.3%), while workforce levels in the Bay City, Kalamazoo-Portage and Lansing-East Lansing metro regions were essentially unchanged in May.

Since May 2017, labor force levels advanced in 15 regions.  The workforce declined slightly over the year in the Niles-Benton Harbor MSA (-0.3%), while the labor force was essentially unchanged in the Muskegon MSA.  Over-the-year gains ranged from 0.2 to 3.1 percent with a median increase of 1.0 percent.

Seasonal and Tourism-Related Hiring Jumps in May

The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan rose by 65,000 or 1.5 percent in May to 4,458,000.  May job gains were mostly seasonal and were led by increases in Leisure and hospitality services (+25,000), Construction (+16,000), Professional and business services (+9,000) and Retail trade (+9,000).  State government education recorded a seasonal reduction of 17,000 in May due to the end of the winter/spring semester at a number of the state’s universities.

In May, payroll jobs increased in 12 of the state’s 14 metro regions with gains ranging from 0.2 to 1.9 percent and a median rise of 1.0 percent.  The most notable regional percent job increases occurred in the Muskegon (+1.9%), Niles-Benton Harbor (+1.6%) and Midland (+1.6%) metro areas.  Payroll jobs were down slightly in May in the Ann Arbor MSA (-0.1%) while jobs were little changed in the Bay City MSA.

Since May 2017, seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs rose statewide by 56,000 or 1.3 percent.  Ten of Michigan’s 14 major metro regions recorded job advances over the year ranging from 0.2 to 3.2 percent.  The biggest over-the-year job increases on a percentage basis were posted in the Ann Arbor (+3.2%), Grand Rapids-Wyoming (+2.1%) and Kalamazoo-Portage (+1.1%) MSAs.  Payroll jobs declined since May 2017 in the Niles-Benton Harbor (-1.3%), Muskegon (-1.1%), Battle Creek (-0.7%) and Midland (-0.3%) metro regions.

County Jobless Rates Down Over Month, Year

Seventy-three of Michigan’s 83 counties recorded seasonal unemployment rate drops in May, with a median decline of 0.7 of a percentage point.  The majority of the larger over-the-month rate reductions were from counties in the state’s northern regions.  Jobless rates rose slightly in four counties over the month while the rates in six counties were unchanged.  In May, 15 Michigan counties displayed unemployment rates below the national non-seasonally adjusted rate of 3.6 percent.  All Michigan counties in May reported unemployment rates below ten percent.

Since May 2017, unemployment rates fell in 67 counties, with a minor median decline of 0.3 of a percentage point.  Jobless rates rose in 15 counties over the year, while the rate in Huron County was unchanged since May 2017.

Note:  Data in this release is not seasonally adjusted.  As a result, employment and unemployment trends may differ from previously released Michigan seasonally adjusted data.

A breakdown of seasonally unadjusted May workforce estimates for Michigan and its 17 major labor market areas follows, along with a listing of county jobless rates for May.

Note to Editors:  Please ensure that the source for state unemployment rates reads “Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.”   

 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

ANN ARBOR MSA

     

month

year

(Washtenaw County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

191,500

196,500

197,500

0.5%

3.1%

Total Employment

185,200

190,900

191,500

0.3%

3.4%

Unemployment

6,300

5,600

6,000

7.1%

-4.8%

Rate (percent)

3.3

2.8

3.0

   
           

Contact: Marcus Reason, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 335-8341

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

BATTLE CREEK MSA

     

month

year

(Calhoun County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

63,900

63,400

64,000

0.9%

0.2%

Total Employment

61,100

60,600

61,300

1.2%

0.3%

Unemployment

2,900

2,800

2,600

-7.1%

-10.3%

Rate (percent)

4.5

4.4

4.1

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

BAY CITY MSA

     

month

year

(Bay County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

50,700

50,800

50,800

0.0%

0.2%

Total Employment

48,000

48,200

48,500

0.6%

1.0%

Unemployment

2,700

2,700

2,400

-11.1%

-11.1%

Rate (percent)

5.2

5.2

4.7

   
           

Contact: Evan Linskey, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 241-8272

   
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

DETROIT-WARREN-DEARBORN MSA

     

month

year

(Data in thousands)

         

(Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer,

         

Livingston, St. Clair counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

2,093

2,093

2,118

1.2%

1.2%

Total Employment

2,022

2,017

2,040

1.1%

0.9%

Unemployment

71

76

78

2.6%

9.9%

Rate (percent)

3.4

3.6

3.7

   
           

Contact: Jim Rhein, DTMB Economic Analyst (313) 456-3095

     
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

FLINT MSA

     

month

year

(Genesee County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

183,700

182,400

184,600

1.2%

0.5%

Total Employment

174,400

173,200

175,900

1.6%

0.9%

Unemployment

9,300

9,200

8,700

-5.4%

-6.5%

Rate (percent)

5.0

5.0

4.7

   
           

Contact: Evan Linskey, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 241-8272

   
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

GRAND RAPIDS - WYOMING MSA

     

month

year

(Barry, Kent, Montcalm, Ottawa counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

572,800

581,600

586,200

0.8%

2.3%

Total Employment

554,800

564,100

569,200

0.9%

2.6%

Unemployment

18,000

17,500

17,100

-2.3%

-5.0%

Rate (percent)

3.1

3.0

2.9

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

JACKSON MSA

     

month

year

(Jackson County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

74,500

74,700

75,500

1.1%

1.3%

Total Employment

71,400

71,700

72,600

1.3%

1.7%

Unemployment

3,100

3,000

2,900

-3.3%

-6.5%

Rate (percent)

4.2

4.0

3.8

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

KALAMAZOO - PORTAGE MSA

     

month

year

(Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

166,900

168,900

168,900

0.0%

1.2%

Total Employment

160,200

162,500

162,800

0.2%

1.6%

Unemployment

6,700

6,300

6,100

-3.2%

-9.0%

Rate (percent)

4.0

3.8

3.6

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

LANSING - EAST LANSING MSA

     

month

year

(Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

251,500

253,700

253,600

0.0%

0.8%

Total Employment

242,200

244,800

245,100

0.1%

1.2%

Unemployment

9,300

8,900

8,500

-4.5%

-8.6%

Rate (percent)

3.7

3.5

3.4

   
           

Contact: Marcus Reason, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 335-8341

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

MIDLAND MSA

     

month

year

(Midland County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

40,700

40,400

40,800

1.0%

0.2%

Total Employment

38,900

38,600

39,200

1.6%

0.8%

Unemployment

1,700

1,800

1,600

-11.1%

-5.9%

Rate (percent)

4.3

4.4

3.9

   
           

Contact: Evan Linskey, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 241-8272

   
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

MONROE MSA

     

month

year

(Monroe County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

76,300

76,600

77,400

1.0%

1.4%

Total Employment

73,000

73,800

74,300

0.7%

1.8%

Unemployment

3,300

2,900

3,100

6.9%

-6.1%

Rate (percent)

4.3

3.7

4.0

   
           

Contact: Jim Rhein, DTMB Economic Analyst (313) 456-3095

     
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

MUSKEGON MSA

     

month

year

(Muskegon County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

78,500

77,500

78,500

1.3%

0.0%

Total Employment

74,700

73,800

74,900

1.5%

0.3%

Unemployment

3,800

3,700

3,600

-2.7%

-5.3%

Rate (percent)

4.8

4.8

4.6

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

NILES - BENTON HARBOR MSA

     

month

year

(Berrien County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

74,400

73,100

74,200

1.5%

-0.3%

Total Employment

71,200

69,900

71,100

1.7%

-0.1%

Unemployment

3,200

3,200

3,100

-3.1%

-3.1%

Rate (percent)

4.4

4.4

4.2

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

SAGINAW MSA

     

month

year

(Saginaw County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

87,000

86,900

87,400

0.6%

0.5%

Total Employment

82,700

82,600

83,400

1.0%

0.8%

Unemployment

4,300

4,400

4,000

-9.1%

-7.0%

Rate (percent)

5.0

5.0

4.6

   
           

Contact: Evan Linskey, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 241-8272

   
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

UPPER PENINSULA LMA

     

month

year

(15 counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

136,700

138,200

137,800

-0.3%

0.8%

Total Employment

128,800

129,000

130,100

0.9%

1.0%

Unemployment

7,900

9,200

7,600

-17.4%

-3.8%

Rate (percent)

5.8

6.7

5.6

   
           

Contact: Jim Rhein, DTMB Economic Analyst (313) 456-3095

     
           
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

NORTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN

     

month

year

(Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford,

         

Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, 

         

Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

83,300

82,000

84,100

2.6%

1.0%

Total Employment

78,200

75,400

79,200

5.0%

1.3%

Unemployment

5,100

6,600

5,000

-24.2%

-2.0%

Rate (percent)

6.1

8.0

5.9

   
           

Contact: Jim Rhein, DTMB Economic Analyst (313) 456-3095

     
           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

NORTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN

     

month

year

(Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Benzie,

         

Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau,

         

Manistee, Missaukee, Wexford counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

149,500

147,700

152,200

3.0%

1.8%

Total Employment

142,400

139,300

145,300

4.3%

2.0%

Unemployment

7,100

8,400

6,900

-17.9%

-2.8%

Rate (percent)

4.7

5.7

4.5

   
           

Contact: Leonidas Murembya, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 841-5634

           
 

May-17

Apr-18

May-18

% change

% change

MICHIGAN  (Data in thousands)

     

month

year

Civilian Labor Force

4,865

4,879

4,926

1.0%

1.3%

Total Employment

4,678

4,685

4,739

1.2%

1.3%

Unemployment

187

194

187

-3.6%

0.0%

Rate (percent)

3.8

4.0

3.8

   
           

Contact: Jim Rhein, DTMB Economic Analyst (313) 456-3095

     

                    MICHIGAN COUNTIES RANKED BY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

                                                           MAY 2018

             

1

Ottawa County

2.7

 

43

Mecosta County

4.6

2

Livingston County

2.8

 

44

Muskegon County

4.6

3

Kent County

2.9

 

45

Saginaw County

4.6

4

Oakland County

2.9

 

46

Huron County

4.7

5

Clinton County

3.0

 

47

Alpena County

4.7

6

Washtenaw County

3.0

 

48

Bay County

4.7

7

Allegan County

3.1

 

49

Genesee County

4.7

8

Eaton County

3.2

 

50

Sanilac County

5.0

9

St. Joseph County

3.2

 

51

Marquette County

5.1

10

Barry County

3.3

 

52

Cheboygan County

5.2

11

Kalamazoo County

3.4

 

53

Gladwin County

5.2

12

Ionia County

3.4

 

54

Benzie County

5.3

13

Grand Traverse County

3.5

 

55

Otsego County

5.3

14

Ingham County

3.5

 

56

Kalkaska County

5.4

15

Macomb County

3.5

 

57

Antrim County

5.5

16

Branch County

3.6

 

58

Delta County

5.5

17

Dickinson County

3.8

 

59

Clare County

5.6

18

Cass County

3.8

 

60

Iron County

5.6

19

Lenawee County

3.8

 

61

Tuscola County

5.6

20

Hillsdale County

3.8

 

62

Houghton County

5.7

21

Isabella County

3.8

 

63

Emmet County

5.8

22

Jackson County

3.8

 

64

Manistee County

5.8

23

St. Clair County

3.9

 

65

Gogebic County

5.8

24

Midland County

3.9

 

66

Alcona County

6.0

25

Leelanau County

4.0

 

67

Crawford County

6.0

26

Montcalm County

4.0

 

68

Iosco County

6.0

27

Newaygo County

4.0

 

69

Oceana County

6.0

28

Shiawassee County

4.0

 

70

Oscoda County

6.1

29

Monroe County

4.0

 

71

Arenac County

6.4

30

Calhoun County

4.1

 

72

Ogemaw County

6.5

31

Lapeer County

4.2

 

73

Lake County

6.7

32

Menominee County

4.2

 

74

Presque Isle County

6.7

33

Gratiot County

4.2

 

75

Chippewa County

6.8

34

Berrien County

4.2

 

76

Luce County

6.9

35

Osceola County

4.3

 

77

Baraga County

7.0

36

Mason County

4.4

 

78

Roscommon County

7.3

37

Mackinac County

4.5

 

79

Schoolcraft County

7.3

38

Wexford County

4.5

 

80

Montmorency County

8.0

39

Wayne County

4.5

 

81

Keweenaw County

8.1

40

Charlevoix County

4.6

 

82

Alger County

8.4

41

Missaukee County

4.6

 

83

Ontonagon County

9.4

42

Van Buren County

4.6