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August jobless rates fall seasonally in all Michigan regional labor markets

September 26, 2019
Caleb Buhs, or 517-303-4038

LANSING, Mich. -- Seasonally unadjusted jobless rates fell in all 17 of Michigan’s regional labor markets in August, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Total employment rose in August, while regional workforce levels fell over the month.  

“Regional jobless rate reductions were typical for August,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Employment levels displayed continued growth over the year in most labor markets.”

During August, jobless rate reductions ranged from 0.7 to 1.8 percentage points, with a notable median decrease of nine-tenths of a percentage point. The largest over-the-month unemployment rate decline occurred in the Monroe metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The statewide seasonally unadjusted jobless rate in August was 4.2 percent, and the national unadjusted rate was 3.8 percent.  

August Jobless Rates Up Over Year
Since August 2018, unemployment rates rose in 15 of the 17 Michigan regions. Rate increases ranged from 0.1 to 0.5 percentage points, led by upticks in the Battle Creek MSA (+0.5) and the Upper Peninsula region (+0.5). Monroe was the only region to exhibit a jobless rate decline over the year (-0.9). The Detroit MSA jobless rate remained unchanged since August 2018.

Total Employment Up Over Month and Year
From July to August, total employment levels advanced in 12 regions, fell in three, and remained unchanged in two. Increases ranged from 0.1 to 1.0 percent, with a minor median advance of 0.3 percent. The Kalamazoo and Jackson metro regions both reported a gain of 1.0 percent, the largest over-the-month employment increase. The most pronounced August employment decline occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-1.0%). Employment in the Midland and Northeast Lower Michigan regions was unchanged in August.

Over the year, total employment grew in 16 regions, led by the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+2.3%). Bay City’s employment level fell over the year, declining by 0.2 percent since August 2018.

Workforce Levels Decline Over Month, Rise Over Year
Labor force levels receded in 15 regions during August. Reductions ranged from 0.4 to 1.8 percent, with a median decrease of 1.0 percent. The Monroe MSA had the largest workforce drop over the month (-1.8%). The only labor markets with slight labor force increases in August were the Jackson (+0.1%) and Kalamazoo (+0.2%) MSAs.  

All 17 of Michigan’s regional labor markets exhibited labor force gains since August 2018. Workforce advances ranged from 0.1 to 2.4 percent, with a substantial median gain of 1.7 percent. The largest over-the-year labor force advance occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-2.4%).

August Payroll Jobs Up Slightly
The monthly survey of employers indicated that unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan edged up by 10,000, or 0.2 percent, in August to 4,441,000. Notable job additions in industries such as government (+8,000) and professional and business services (+7,000) were partially offset by job cuts in several industries, led by leisure and hospitality (-4,000).

Nonfarm jobs fell in seven regions and rose in seven regions in August. The largest decline on a percentage basis occurred in the Bay City region (-0.8%), while the most pronounced job increase occurred in the Jackson MSA (+0.9%). 

Since August 2018, Michigan’s seasonally unadjusted employment rose by 18,000, or 0.4 percent. Nine regions demonstrated job advances over this period, while four exhibited job declines. The Battle Creek MSA was the only region with no job change over the year.  

County Jobless Rates Down Over Month and Up Over Year
All 83 Michigan counties demonstrated jobless rate drops in August, with a median reduction of nine-tenths of a percentage point. Over the year, unemployment rates advanced in 76 counties, declined in five, and remained unchanged in two.

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

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.