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Labor force gains push June jobless rates up in most Michigan regions

July 25, 2019
Caleb Buhs, or 517-303-4038

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates rose in 16 of Michigan’s 17 regional labor markets during the month of June, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Total employment and total labor force levels moved up in most regions over the month.  

“Regional jobless rates were up in June due to residents entering the summer job market” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, “With continued seasonal hiring in several industries, June nonfarm jobs increased in most Michigan metro areas.”  

Regional jobless rate hikes during June ranged from 0.1 to 0.8 percentage points with a median gain of six-tenths of a percentage point. The Lansing-East Lansing metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as well as the Niles-Benton Harbor MSA exhibited the largest monthly jobless rate advances (+0.8). The Flint metro area was the only Michigan region with a decline in the unemployment rate over the month, edging down by two-tenths of a percentage point.

June Unemployment Rates Stable Over the Year

Since June of 2018, jobless rates were little changed in Michigan regions. The Saginaw, Upper Peninsula, and Flint regions all registered slight jobless rate increases over the year. Rate changes over-the-year were in a narrow range from the Flint MSA (+0.3 percentage points) to Muskegon (-0.4 percentage points). 

Employment Up in June in Most Regions

From May to June, total employment rose in 14 Michigan regions and declined in two. Employment was unchanged in the Ann Arbor MSA. Total employment gains ranged from 0.1 to 4.6 percent with the largest percent increase in the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+4.6%), as hiring continued for the summer tourism season. The Battle Creek metro area had a minor reduction in employment (-0.2%) while the Lansing-East Lansing MSA exhibited a more pronounced seasonal decline of 2.2 percent.    

Total employment rose since June 2018 in 16 areas, led on a percentage basis by the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+2.1%). The Midland MSA was the only region to record an employment decrease over the year (-0.3%).

Workforce Levels Advance Over Month and Year

During the month of June, labor force levels moved up in 16 regions and declined seasonally in the Lansing-East Lansing MSA (-1.5%). Workforce increases ranged from 0.1 to 5.2 percent with a notable median advance of 1.3 percent. The Northwest Lower Michigan region recorded the largest percentage workforce addition of 5.2 percent.

Sixteen regions registered labor force advances over the past year. Increases ranged from 0.2 to 2.1 percent with a median rise of 0.9 percent. The Flint MSA recorded the largest workforce level gain, up by 2.1 percent since June 2018. The Midland MSA was the only region with a reduction in labor force over the year, edging down by 0.2 percent.

Leisure and Hospitality Sector Leads Seasonal Hiring in June

The monthly survey of employers indicated that unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan rose by 36,000, or 0.8 percent in June to 4,509,000. Job gains were seen in many statewide industries, led by leisure and hospitality (+4.2%). The only two employment declines of note were recorded in government (-1.7%) and education and health services (-0.4%), with the onset of summer break at public and private educational institutions.   

Nonfarm jobs advanced in 12 Michigan metro areas in June. Job gains ranged from 0.1 to 3.2 percent, led by the Flint MSA (+3.2%) which experienced recalls of auto workers on temporary layoff. Lansing-East Lansing was the only region with an employment cut over the month (-2.3%), and jobs in the Ann Arbor metro area remained unchanged. 

Over the year, Michigan seasonally unadjusted employment rose by 24,000, or 0.5 percent. Ten regions exhibited job increases over this period, led on a percentage basis by the Flint MSA (+1.4%). Job levels edged down in three regions over the year, led by the Midland MSA (-1.0%).

County Jobless Rates Up Over Month and Mixed Over Year

Seventy-seven of Michigan’s 83 counties recorded jobless rate increases in June with a median advance of six-tenths of a percentage point. Only six counties registered monthly unemployment rate reductions. Over the year, unemployment rates edged up in 50 counties, declined in 39, and remained unchanged in 11.

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 June workforce estimates for Michigan and its 17 major labor market areas follows, along with a listing of county jobless rates for June.

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

For more deailed information, including data tables, view the full release.