Michigan's Jobless Rate Holds at 4.0 Percent in February

Contact: Caleb Buhs, buhsc@michigan.gov
Agency: Technology, Management & Budget

March 21, 2019

 

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was unchanged in February, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). Total employment advanced by 13,000 while unemployment edged down by 3,000, resulting in a net labor force gain of 10,000 over the month. The state’s jobless rate was four-tenths below its February 2018 rate of 4.4 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell by two-tenths of a percentage point in February 2019 to 3.8 percent. The state’s unemployment rate in February was two-tenths above the national rate.  

“Michigan’s monthly jobless rates have remained below year-ago levels” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The state recorded job recalls in the auto sector in February, but these gains were partially offset by job declines in construction.”

Monthly Labor Force Trends and Highlights

  • February marked the fifth consecutive month with an unchanged jobless rate of 4.0 percent.
  • Total employment expanded for the second consecutive month. The February employment of 4,731,000 was the state’s highest level since April 2006.  
  • February 2019 marked the sixth month in a row that Michigan’s labor force expanded. Since August 2018, the state’s workforce grew by 32,000 or 0.7 percent.
  • Over the year, total employment increased by 47,000, or 1.0 percent, and unemployment fell by 23,000, or 10.6 percent. Nationally during the same period, total employment edged up by 1.1 percent, and the number of unemployed decreased by 6.8 percent.

MICHIGAN

Labor Force Estimates

Seasonally Adjusted

(Data in Thousands)

 

February 2018

January 2019

February 2019

Change

 

 

 

 

Month

Year

Civilian Labor Force

4,902

4,916

4,926

10

24

Employment

4,684

4,718

4,731

13

47

Unemployment

218

198

195

-3

-23

Rate (Percent)

4.4

4.0

4.0

xxx

xxx

 

Detroit Metropolitan Area’s Jobless Rate Edges Down in February

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA’s) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February inched down by a tenth of a percentage point to 4.0 percent January’s rate was revised upward by a tenth of a percentage point. Total employment rose by 6,000 over the month while the number of unemployed remained unchanged, resulting in a net labor force gain of 6,000 in February. For most of the last year, the Detroit region’s jobless rate has remained at or near 4.0 percent.   

Since February 2018, the Detroit metropolitan area’s jobless rate remained unchanged. Total employment advanced by 27,000, or 1.3 percent, while unemployment edged up by 2,000, or 2.4 percent.

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA

Labor Force Estimates

Seasonally Adjusted

(Data in Thousands)

 

February 2018

January 2019

February 2019

Change

 

 

 

 

Month

Year

Civilian Labor Force

2,116

2,139

2,145

6

29

Employment

2,031

2,052

2,058

6

27

Unemployment

85

87

87

0

2

Rate (Percent)

4.0

4.1

4.0

xxx

xxx

 

Michigan Payroll Jobs Advance in February

Data from the monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally adjusted jobs in the state edged up by 4,000 in February to 4,448,000. Job change in most sectors was minimal over the month. Jobs rose significantly in February in Manufacturing (+6,000), due to recalls of workers on temporary layoff in the auto industry. The Construction sector (-5,000) recorded a monthly job decline.

Industry Employment Trends and Highlights                    

  • February marked the fifth consecutive month of seasonally adjusted job gains. Payroll employment increased by 29,000 since September 2018.   
  • Michigan Manufacturing jobs advanced by 13,000 over the year. The February industry total of 638,000 was the highest monthly job count for this industry since 2006.
  • Construction’s 5,000-job decline over the month contrasted with the prior four months of job advances in the sector. Despite the February job cut, the state’s Construction industry exhibited the largest over-the-year job gain in Michigan, up by 3.5 percent since February 2018.
  • Education and Health Services was the only major industry to exhibit a decline in jobs over the year, edging down by 3,000, or 0.4 percent.
  • From February 2018 to February 2019, payroll jobs moved up by 41,000, or 0.9 percent, which lagged considerably from the national gain of 1.7 percent over the year.
  • Seasonally adjusted average weekly hours for Manufacturing production workers edged down over the month and year.  

MICHIGAN

Payroll Employment Estimates

Seasonally Adjusted

(Data in Thousands)

 

February

January*

February**

Change***

 

2018

2019

2019

Month

Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

4,406

4,444

4,448

4

41

   Natural Resources & Mining

7

7

7

0

0

   Construction

167

177

173

-5

6

   Manufacturing

625

633

638

6

13

       Transportation Equipment

192

188

197

8

5

   Trade, Transportation & Utilities

790

798

798

0

8

       Retail Trade

472

471

471

0

-1

   Information

56

56

56

0

0

   Financial Activities

218

221

222

1

4

   Professional & Business Services

658

662

662

0

4

   Education & Health Services

680

678

677

-1

-3

   Leisure & Hospitality Services

434

439

439

0

6

   Other Services

166

168

168

0

2

   Government

606

606

607

1

1

*Final data for January 2019

**Preliminary data for February 2019

***Change calculated using unrounded data

 
Hours & Earning for Production Workers

Seasonally Adjusted

Manufacturing

 

February

January

February

Change

 

2018

2019

2019

Month

Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Weekly Earning

$915.17

$947.02

$934.08

-$12.94

$18.91

Average Weekly Hours

43.7

43.2

42.7

-0.5

-1.0

Transportation Equipment

Average Weekly Earning

$1,178.36

$1,227.42

$1,203.67

-$23.75

$25.31

Average Weekly Hours

48.5

47.9

47.6

-0.3

-0.9

 

Note:

Data Revisions:

The data in this release reflects recently revised historical estimates. All states in the nation participate in this revision process facilitated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Seasonally adjusted labor force estimates were revised back to January 2014 for Michigan and the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA.

In addition, all unadjusted payroll job data was revised for 2017 and 2018. Certain industries had more extensive data revisions, some back to 1990. Seasonally adjusted payroll job data was revised back to 2014 for all industries. Some sectors had more extensive data revisions, some back to 1990. For newly revised data, go to www.milmi.org/datasearch or contact DTMB at 313-456-3090.

Previously published data for these years should be replaced with these new series.