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September unemployment rates decline in all Michigan regions

October 24, 2019
Caleb Buhs, or 517-303-4038

LANSING, Mich. -- Seasonally unadjusted jobless rates in September decreased in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Employment levels and unemployment were both down over the month across most Michigan regions.   

“The state’s regional labor markets reported expected movements in September, including seasonal labor force declines,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “September’s payroll employment gains largely reflected seasonal recalls in education-related industries and marked the beginning of the academic year.”  

In the month of September, regional unemployment rates ranged from 2.8 to 4.4 percent. Jobless rate declines ranged from 0.3 to 0.9 percentage points, with a median decline of six-tenths of a percentage point. The largest over-the-month rate reduction was recorded in the Upper Peninsula (-0.9 percent). Michigan’s nonseasonally adjusted jobless rate in September was 3.7 percent, four-tenths above the national rate of 3.3 percent.   

September Jobless Rates Rise Over Year

Since September 2018, unemployment rates rose in 15 Michigan labor market areas. Rate increases ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 percentage points. The largest over-the-year rate increases were recorded in the Battle Creek, Bay City, and Upper Peninsula regions, at 0.4 percentage points each. Monroe was the only region to exhibit a jobless rate decline over the year (-0.2 percentage points), while the Niles-Benton Harbor region remained unchanged since September 2018.

Total Employment Down Over Month, Up Over Year

Since August, total employment fell in 13 regions and advanced in four. Employment declines ranged from 0.1 to 4.8 percent, with a median drop of 1.3 percent. The largest over-the-month reduction occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-4.8 percent). The Lansing metropolitan statistical area (MSA) exhibited the largest over-the-month increase in employment, advancing by 1.9 percent since August.

Over the year, total employment grew in 13 regions, led by the Niles-Benton Harbor MSA (+1.6 percent). Employment fell in four Michigan labor market areas over the year. The Bay City MSA demonstrated the largest decline in employment since September 2018, edging down by 0.6 percent over the year.

Regional Workforce Levels Fall Over Month, Rise Over Year

Labor force levels receded in 15 regions in September. Declines ranged from 0.1 to 5.1 percent, with a median reduction of 1.8 percent. The Northwest Lower Michigan region exhibited the largest decline in workforce (-5.1 percent). The Ann Arbor and Lansing metro regions were the only labor market areas with labor force advances over the month, increasing by 0.1 and 1.5 percent, respectively.  

Fourteen Michigan regions demonstrated labor force hikes over the year, led by the Detroit MSA (+1.8 percent). The Bay City (-0.2 percent) and Monroe (-0.4 percent) regions demonstrated workforce reductions since September 2018, while the Midland labor force remained unchanged over the year.

September Payroll Jobs Rose Slightly Over Month

The monthly survey of employers indicated that unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan edged up by 22,000, or 0.5 percent, in September to 4,467,000. Noteworthy industry advances in government (+8.7 percent) and education and health services (+1.1 percent) were partially offset by declines in most other major industry sectors.

Payroll employment advanced in 13 of Michigan’s 14 metropolitan regions in September, led on a percentage basis by the Lansing MSA (+3.9 percent). Muskegon was the only area to demonstrate a decline in nonfarm jobs over the month, edging down by 0.6 percent since August.  

Since September 2018, Michigan’s seasonally unadjusted employment rose by 22,000, or 0.5 percent. Seven regions demonstrated job advances over this period, while five regions exhibited job declines. The Detroit, Jackson, and Saginaw metro regions all exhibited no change in payroll employment over the year.   

County Jobless Rates Down Over Month and Up Over Year

All 83 Michigan counties reported jobless rate declines in September, with a median reduction of six-tenths of a percentage point. Over the year, unemployment rates advanced in 76 counties, declined in three, and remained unchanged in four.

Note: A large auto industry labor dispute began on Monday, Sept. 16. Labor statistics published for the month of September 2019 reflect the employment status of workers for the week of Sept. 8 through14. 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 on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

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.

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.