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Regional unemployment rates up seasonally in July

August 22, 2019
Christyn Herman, or 517-335-6460

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates moved up in all 17 of Michigan’s regional labor markets in July, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Total employment and workforce levels declined in most regions over the month.   

“Jobless rate increases throughout Michigan were typical for the month of July” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, “The continuation of seasonal job cuts in education and temporary layoffs in Michigan’s auto industry both contributed to regional over-the-month jobless rate hikes.”

During July, the unemployment rate increases in the 17 regions ranged from 0.1 to 1.6 percentage points with a median advance of six-tenths of a percentage point. The most pronounced over-the-month jobless rate gains occurred in the Monroe (+1.6), Muskegon (+0.8), and Detroit-Warren Dearborn (+0.8) metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). The statewide non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate in July was 5.1 percent, while the national unadjusted rate was 4.0 percent.  

July Jobless Rates Up Over Year

Since July 2018, unemployment rates rose in 15 of the 17 Michigan regions. Rate advances ranged from 0.1 to 0.8 percentage points, with the most prominent increase occurring in the Monroe MSA (+0.8). Flint was the only metro region to exhibit a minor over-the-year jobless rate reduction (-0.1). The Saginaw MSA jobless rate remained unchanged since July 2018.

Total Employment Down Over Month, Up Over Year

Between June and July, total employment fell in 15 regions and advanced in two. Employment declines ranged from 0.7 to 3.1 percent with a notable median drop of 1.7 percent. The largest percentage reduction occurred in the Jackson MSA (-3.1%). Employment advances over the month occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+1.0%) and the Detroit MSA (+1.2%).

Since July 2018, total employment moved up in 12 regions, with the largest hike recorded in the Detroit MSA (+1.7%). Three regions exhibited small employment cuts over the year, led by the Battle Creek MSA (-0.5%). Employment levels in Midland and Niles-Benton Harbor remained unchanged since July 2018.

Workforce Levels Decline Over Month, Rise Over Year

Labor force levels fell in 15 regions during July. Declines ranged from 0.1 to 2.4 percent with a median reduction of 0.9 percent. The Jackson MSA exhibited the largest workforce level drop over the month (-2.4%). Both the Northwest Lower Michigan region and the Detroit MSA demonstrated labor force advances since June, up by 1.1 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

Since July 2018, 14 regions exhibited labor force hikes. Increases ranged from 0.2 to 2.0 percent with a median rise of 0.8 percent. The Detroit MSA recorded the largest over-the-year workforce gain of 2.0 percent. The Battle Creek and Bay City MSAs were the only Michigan regions to exhibit labor force declines over the year, receding by 0.2 percent each. The Midland region labor force was unchanged from July 2018.

Seasonal Cuts in July Payroll Employment

The monthly survey of employers indicated that unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan fell by 77,000, or 1.7 percent in July to 4,431,000. Nonfarm employment declines were seen in the majority of statewide industries, led on a percentage basis by the government sector (-5.7%) as summer break continued for many schools.

Payroll jobs fell in all 14 Michigan metro regions in July. Job declines ranged from 0.8 to 3.2 percent and were led by the Jackson (-3.2%) and Monroe (-2.8%) MSAs.

Since July 2018, Michigan seasonally unadjusted employment rose by 30,000 or 0.7 percent. Twelve regions demonstrated job gains over this period. The Bay City region was the only metro area to exhibit a job decline over the year (-0.8%). Job levels in the Battle Creek metro area remained unchanged since July 2018.

County Jobless Rates Up Over Month and Year

Seventy-six of Michigan’s 83 counties recorded jobless rate increases in July with a median advance of six-tenths of a percentage point. Four counties had monthly jobless rate declines, while three remained unchanged. Over the year, unemployment rates edged up in 65 counties, declined in eight, and remained unchanged in 10.

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

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

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