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Michigan's September jobless rate stable at 4.2 percent

October 16, 2019
Caleb Buhs, or 517-303-4038

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 4.2 percent was unchanged in September, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Total employment was flat, while unemployment edged down by 3,000 over the month. The state’s workforce declined slightly in September.  

The September state jobless rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate. The U.S. jobless rate fell by two-tenths of a percentage point in September.

Over the past year, Michigan’s unemployment rate edged up by three-tenths of a percentage point. The national jobless rate was down (-0.2 points) over this period.

“Michigan’s labor market showed typical seasonal trends in September,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “With the start of the academic year, some youth and young adults tend to exit the labor market in September as seasonal and tourism-related jobs decline.”

Please note:  The large auto industry labor dispute began Monday, Sept. 16. Labor statistics published for the month of September 2019 reflect the employment status of workers for the week of Sept. 8 – 14. Therefore, the labor dispute began after the September survey week and had no measurable impact on September employment data.

The impact of the strike on layoffs and jobs will be seen in data published for October 2019. The state unemployment rate and payroll job counts for October 2019 will be published Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights

  • Total unemployment in Michigan fell for the second consecutive month in September, receding by 1.4 percent over the month.
  • Over the year, the number of unemployed in the state grew by 16,000, or 8.3 percent. In comparison, the national unemployment total fell by 3.6 percent over the year.

Michigan recorded this year’s first monthly labor force reduction in September. Over the year, the state labor force grew by 65,000, or 1.3 percent, similar to the national growth rate of 1.2 percent.

Detroit Metropolitan Area’s September Jobless Rate Declined Over Month

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA’s) seasonally adjusted jobless rate inched down by a tenth of a percentage point in September to 4.4 percent. Total employment advanced by 4,000, while unemployment fell by 3,000 over the month.

Since September 2018, the Detroit MSA jobless rate moved up by four-tenths of a percentage point. Employment rose by 24,000, or 1.2 percent, while total unemployment increased by 9,000, or 10.5 percent. The Detroit MSA labor force advanced by 33,000, or 1.5 percent, since September 2018.

September Jobs Down in Manufacturing and Business Services

According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted payroll jobs in Michigan fell by 6,000 in September to 4,444,000. Job declines in manufacturing, professional and business services, and government were only partially offset by small job advances in trade, transportation, and utilities; and leisure and hospitality.

Industry Employment Trends and Highlights                

  • Manufacturing recorded the largest over-the-month job decline (-4,000) of all Michigan industries. The September statewide manufacturing total of 628,000 jobs was the lowest registered by the industry so far in 2019.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities added 3,000 jobs in September, the highest monthly industry job gain.
  • Michigan’s leisure and hospitality sector exhibited the largest over-the-year advance in jobs on both a numerical and percentage basis, expanding by 11,000 jobs, or 2.6 percent, since September 2018.
  • Over the year, payroll jobs in Michigan rose by 25,000, or 0.6 percent. In comparison, the national nonfarm employment level increased by 1.4 percent since September 2018.

Seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings for production workers in the manufacturing sector moved up both over the month and over the year in September.

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