May Unemployment Rates Increase in Majority of Michigan's Regional Labor Markets

Lansing – Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in May rose moderately in 13 of the state’s 17 major labor market areas, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.  Total employment and workforce levels went up in most regions over the month.

“May jobless rates increased slightly in the majority of southern lower Michigan regions due to a large number of potential workers entering the labor market seeking summer and seasonal positions,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives.  “Rates fell in northern lower Michigan as employers began hiring for tourism-related jobs.”

Between April and May, jobless rate increases in the 13 areas were mostly minor and seasonal.  May rate advances ranged from 0.1 to 0.6 of a percentage point with a median hike of 0.4 of a percentage point.  The largest rate gain of 0.6 of a percentage point was posted in the Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), followed by a half percentage point advance in both the Muskegon and Kalamazoo-Portage MSAs.  Unemployment rates declined in four areas in May, with the largest drop of -1.2 percentage points displayed in the Northeast Lower Michigan region.  Other area rate reductions were recorded in the Upper Peninsula (-0.6), the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-0.4), and the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA (-0.4).  In May, ten of the state’s major areas along with the state (3.7 %) registered unemployment rates below the U.S. non-seasonally adjusted rate of 4.1 percent.

Unemployment Rates Down Over Year

Since May 2016, jobless rates fell in all 17 regions, with a median rate decline of a half percentage point.  The most pronounced rate reductions over this period were recorded in the Lansing-East Lansing (-1.4), Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (-1.1), and Jackson (-0.7) MSAs along with the Upper Peninsula (-0.7).

Total Employment Up Over Month, Mixed Over Year

From April to May, total employment rose in nine regions, declined in six areas, and was essentially unchanged in the Jackson MSA and the Upper Peninsula.  Area employment gains were widespread, with a moderate median increase of 0.5 percent.  The largest advances by far were reported in the Northeast Lower Michigan region (+4.4%) and the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+3.7%) as employers began hiring for the summer tourism season.  Combined, these two regions showed an employment gain of 8,400.  Employment reductions in six areas ranged from -0.3 percent to -1.2 percent with the largest declines posted in the Kalamazoo-Portage and Saginaw MSAs.

Since May 2016 total employment advanced in eight areas, decreased in eight regions and was essentially unchanged in the Jackson MSA.  The largest over-the-year gains were displayed in the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (+2.9%), Ann Arbor (+2.5%), Grand Rapids-Wyoming (+1.5%), and Lansing-East Lansing (+1.5%) MSAs.  The most prominent reductions were registered in the Bay City (-1.6%) and Niles-Benton Harbor (-0.8%) MSAs, along with the Upper Peninsula (-0.7%)                                                                                      

Labor Force Trends Mixed Over Month, and Year

During May, workforce levels rose in ten regions and fell in seven.  Labor force gains ranged from 0.1 percent to 3.4 percent with a minor median increase of 0.6 percent.  The Northeast and Northwest Lower Michigan regions recorded large seasonal workforce additions over the month.  Labor force reductions in May were mostly moderate.

Since May 2016, labor force levels fell in ten regions, with reductions ranging from -0.6 percent to -1.7 percent and a fairly significant median decline of a full percentage point.  The Bay City MSA and the Upper Peninsula posted the largest drops.  Seven regions registered workforce gains over the year with the largest increases shown in the Ann Arbor (+1.9%), Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (+1.8%), and Grand Rapids-Wyoming (+1.0%) MSAs.

Seasonal and Tourism-Related Hiring Begin in May

The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan increased by 53,000 or 1.2 percent in May to 4,419,000.  Seasonal job gains were evident in Leisure and hospitality services (+23,000), Construction (+12,000), Professional and business services (+12,000), and Retail trade (+10,000).  State government education recorded a seasonal job drop of 19,000 in May due to the end of the winter/spring semester at a number of the state’s universities.

In May, payroll jobs rose in 11 of the state’s 14 major metropolitan areas.  Regional job gains ranged from 0.1 percent to 1.9 percent with a median advance of 1.2 percent.  The strongest over-the-month job increases were recorded in the Battle Creek (+1.9%), Niles-Benton Harbor (+1.9%), and Flint (+1.4%) MSAs.  May payroll jobs fell in the Ann Arbor (-0.3%) and Kalamazoo-Portage (-0.3%) MSAs due to seasonal education related job cuts.

Since May 2016, seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs rose statewide by 73,000 or 1.7 percent.  All major industry sectors in Michigan reported over-the-year job gains with the exception of Trade, transportation and utilities (-4,000).  Professional and business services (+20,000) and Leisure and hospitality services (+14,000) led the state’s industry sectors in job growth over the year.

From May 2016 to May 2017, payroll jobs rose in nine of the 14 Michigan metro areas, with regional increases ranging from 0.3 percent to 3.4 percent.  The largest over-the-year job gains were displayed in the Ann Arbor (+3.4%), Lansing-East Lansing (+2.4%), and Grand Rapids-Wyoming (+2.3%) MSAs.  Five metro regions recorded job reductions since May 2016, led by the Bay City (-2.2%) and Monroe   (-1.4%) MSAs.

County Jobless Rates Mixed Over Month, Down Over Year

Forty-two of Michigan’s 83 counties posted jobless rate reductions in May, 35 counties recorded increases, and six counties reported no change.  The largest May drops were mainly posted in the state’s northern counties.  Since May 2016, unemployment rates fell in 80 counties, with a moderate median decrease of -0.6 of a percentage point.  Jobless rates edged upward in St. Joseph and Alger counties over the year, while the rate in Keweenaw County was unchanged.

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-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

ANN ARBOR MSA

     

month

year

(Washtenaw County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

190,000

194,100

193,600

-0.3%

1.9%

Total Employment

183,500

189,700

188,100

-0.8%

2.5%

Unemployment

6,500

4,300

5,500

27.9%

-15.4%

Rate (percent)

3.4

2.2

2.8

   
           

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

           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

BATTLE CREEK MSA

     

month

year

(Calhoun County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

64,800

64,500

65,000

0.8%

0.3%

Total Employment

62,000

62,100

62,400

0.5%

0.6%

Unemployment

2,800

2,300

2,600

13.0%

-7.1%

Rate (percent)

4.4

3.6

3.9

   
           

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

           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

BAY CITY MSA

     

month

year

(Bay County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

52,100

51,500

51,200

-0.6%

-1.7%

Total Employment

49,600

49,200

48,800

-0.8%

-1.6%

Unemployment

2,500

2,200

2,400

9.1%

-4.0%

Rate (percent)

4.8

4.4

4.7

   
           

Contact: Kevin Doyle, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 335-2161

   
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

DETROIT-WARREN-DEARBORN MSA

     

month

year

(Data in thousands)

         

(Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer,

         

Livingston, St. Clair counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

2,054

2,078

2,090

0.6%

1.8%

Total Employment

1,957

1,995

2,014

1.0%

2.9%

Unemployment

97

83

75

-9.6%

-22.7%

Rate (percent)

4.7

4.0

3.6

   
           

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

     
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

FLINT MSA

     

month

year

(Genesee County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

183,700

181,500

182,400

0.5%

-0.7%

Total Employment

174,200

173,700

174,100

0.2%

-0.1%

Unemployment

9,500

7,700

8,300

7.8%

-12.6%

Rate (percent)

5.2

4.3

4.6

   
           

Contact: Kevin Doyle, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 335-2161

   
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

GRAND RAPIDS - WYOMING MSA

     

month

year

(Barry, Kent, Montcalm, Ottawa counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

570,000

572,500

575,600

0.5%

1.0%

Total Employment

551,300

558,900

559,500

0.1%

1.5%

Unemployment

18,700

13,600

16,100

18.4%

-13.9%

Rate (percent)

3.3

2.4

2.8

   
           

Contact: Brandon Betz, Regional DTMB Economic Analyst (517) 335-3875

   
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

JACKSON MSA

     

month

year

(Jackson County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

75,000

74,200

74,500

0.4%

-0.7%

Total Employment

71,700

71,700

71,700

0.0%

0.0%

Unemployment

3,400

2,500

2,800

12.0%

-17.6%

Rate (percent)

4.5

3.4

3.8

   
           

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

           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

KALAMAZOO - PORTAGE MSA

     

month

year

(Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

167,100

169,000

167,900

-0.7%

0.5%

Total Employment

160,400

163,800

161,900

-1.2%

0.9%

Unemployment

6,800

5,300

6,000

13.2%

-11.8%

Rate (percent)

4.0

3.1

3.6

   
           

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

           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

LANSING - EAST LANSING MSA

     

month

year

(Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

249,000

249,500

249,400

0.0%

0.2%

Total Employment

237,400

242,300

241,000

-0.5%

1.5%

Unemployment

11,700

7,100

8,300

16.9%

-29.1%

Rate (percent)

4.7

2.9

3.3

   
           

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

           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

MIDLAND MSA

     

month

year

(Midland County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

41,500

40,900

41,000

0.2%

-1.2%

Total Employment

39,700

39,400

39,500

0.3%

-0.5%

Unemployment

1,700

1,500

1,600

6.7%

-5.9%

Rate (percent)

4.2

3.6

3.8

   
           

Contact: Kevin Doyle, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 335-2161

   
           
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

MONROE MSA

     

month

year

(Monroe County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

77,500

77,000

76,900

-0.1%

-0.8%

Total Employment

74,300

74,100

73,900

-0.3%

-0.5%

Unemployment

3,100

2,900

3,000

3.4%

-3.2%

Rate (percent)

4.0

3.8

3.9

   
           

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

     
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

MUSKEGON MSA

     

month

year

(Muskegon County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

77,900

76,400

77,100

0.9%

-1.0%

Total Employment

74,000

73,400

73,700

0.4%

-0.4%

Unemployment

3,800

3,000

3,400

13.3%

-10.5%

Rate (percent)

4.9

3.9

4.4

   
           

Contact: Brandon Betz, Regional DTMB Economic Analyst (517) 335-3875

   
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

NILES - BENTON HARBOR MSA

     

month

year

(Berrien County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

74,700

73,000

73,700

1.0%

-1.3%

Total Employment

71,400

70,400

70,800

0.6%

-0.8%

Unemployment

3,300

2,600

2,900

11.5%

-12.1%

Rate (percent)

4.5

3.5

3.9

   
           

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

           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

SAGINAW MSA

     

month

year

(Saginaw County)

         

Civilian Labor Force

88,400

88,400

87,800

-0.7%

-0.7%

Total Employment

84,100

84,700

83,900

-0.9%

-0.2%

Unemployment

4,300

3,600

3,900

8.3%

-9.3%

Rate (percent)

4.9

4.1

4.4

   
           

Contact: Kevin Doyle, DTMB Regional Economic Analyst (517) 335-2161

   
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

UPPER PENINSULA LMA

     

month

year

(15 counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

138,400

137,300

136,400

-0.7%

-1.4%

Total Employment

130,300

129,400

129,400

0.0%

-0.7%

Unemployment

8,100

7,900

7,100

-10.1%

-12.3%

Rate (percent)

5.9

5.8

5.2

   
           

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

     
           
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

NORTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN

     

month

year

(Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford,

         

Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, 

         

Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

84,000

81,000

83,500

3.1%

-0.6%

Total Employment

78,800

75,600

78,900

4.4%

0.1%

Unemployment

5,200

5,400

4,600

-14.8%

-11.5%

Rate (percent)

6.1

6.7

5.5

   
           

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

     
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

NORTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN

     

month

year

(Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Benzie,

         

Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau,

         

Manistee, Missaukee, Wexford counties)

         

Civilian Labor Force

150,400

145,600

150,500

3.4%

0.1%

Total Employment

143,300

139,000

144,100

3.7%

0.6%

Unemployment

7,100

6,700

6,400

-4.5%

-9.9%

Rate (percent)

4.7

4.6

4.2

   
           

Contact: Brandon Betz, Regional DTMB Economic Analyst (517) 335-3875

   
           
 

May-16

Apr-17

May-17

% change

% change

MICHIGAN  (Data in thousands)

     

month

year

Civilian Labor Force

4,834

4,845

4,869

0.5%

0.7%

Total Employment

4,616

4,665

4,690

0.5%

1.6%

Unemployment

219

180

180

0.0%

-17.8%

Rate (percent)

4.5

3.7

3.7

   
           

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

     

                 MICHIGAN COUNTIES RANKED BY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

                                                         MAY 2017

             

1

Livingston County

2.6

 

43

Muskegon County

4.4

2

Ottawa County

2.6

 

44

Saginaw County

4.4

3

Kent County

2.8

 

45

Missaukee County

4.5

4

Oakland County

2.8

 

46

Van Buren County

4.5

5

Washtenaw County

2.8

 

47

Alpena County

4.5

6

Clinton County

2.9

 

48

Osceola County

4.6

7

Allegan County

2.9

 

49

Otsego County

4.6

8

Barry County

3.1

 

50

Genesee County

4.6

9

Ionia County

3.2

 

51

Bay County

4.7

10

Eaton County

3.3

 

52

Sanilac County

4.8

11

Grand Traverse County

3.3

 

53

Marquette County

4.8

12

Kalamazoo County

3.3

 

54

Emmet County

4.9

13

Ingham County

3.5

 

55

Manistee County

4.9

14

Leelanau County

3.6

 

56

Delta County

5.1

15

Macomb County

3.6

 

57

Benzie County

5.2

16

Lenawee County

3.6

 

58

Tuscola County

5.2

17

Mackinac County

3.7

 

59

Antrim County

5.3

18

Isabella County

3.7

 

60

Gladwin County

5.3

19

Montcalm County

3.8

 

61

Iron County

5.4

20

Newaygo County

3.8

 

62

Oceana County

5.4

21

Menominee County

3.8

 

63

Houghton County

5.5

22

Cass County

3.8

 

64

Kalkaska County

5.5

23

Branch County

3.8

 

65

Gogebic County

5.5

24

Hillsdale County

3.8

 

66

Alcona County

5.6

25

Jackson County

3.8

 

67

Clare County

5.7

26

Midland County

3.8

 

68

Oscoda County

5.7

27

Dickinson County

3.9

 

69

Iosco County

5.8

28

St. Joseph County

3.9

 

70

Crawford County

5.9

29

Calhoun County

3.9

 

71

Luce County

5.9

30

Monroe County

3.9

 

72

Arenac County

6.0

31

Berrien County

3.9

 

73

Ogemaw County

6.0

32

St. Clair County

4.0

 

74

Lake County

6.3

33

Shiawassee County

4.0

 

75

Chippewa County

6.3

34

Charlevoix County

4.2

 

76

Presque Isle County

6.4

35

Huron County

4.2

 

77

Schoolcraft County

6.6

36

Lapeer County

4.2

 

78

Roscommon County

6.8

37

Gratiot County

4.2

 

79

Baraga County

7.2

38

Mason County

4.2

 

80

Alger County

7.6

39

Wayne County

4.3

 

81

Montmorency County

8.1

40

Mecosta County

4.3

 

82

Ontonagon County

8.1

41

Cheboygan County

4.4

 

83

Keweenaw County

8.9

42

Wexford County

4.4