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Regional jobless rates up seasonally in December

January 30, 2020
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- 

Seasonally unadjusted jobless rates in December moved up in 16 of Michigan’s 17 major labor markets, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

“Typical trends were seen in Michigan’s local labor markets in December,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “While many areas saw jobless rates up seasonally over the month, most areas reported small rate reductions over the year.”

During December, unemployment rate increases ranged from 0.1 to 1.6 percentage points, with a minor median advance of 0.2 percentage points. The largest over-the-month seasonal rate hikes occurred in Michigan’s northernmost regions, including the Northeast Lower Michigan region (+1.6), the Upper Peninsula (+1.4), and the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+0.9). Michigan’s December nonseasonally adjusted jobless rate of 3.5 percent was three-tenths of a percentage point above the November rate of 3.2 percent.   

Annual average unemployment rates inch down over year
Preliminary annual average data indicates that regional jobless rates edged down slightly in 15 of Michigan’s 17 major regions. Rate declines ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 percentage points, with a median decrease of two-tenths of a percentage point. The largest jobless rate reduction occurred in the Northeast Lower Michigan region. Both the Saginaw and Flint metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had no change in the annual jobless rate in 2019.  

Total employment down over month, up over year
From November to December, total employment fell in 16 of Michigan’s 17 regions. Reductions ranged from 0.2 to 1.8 percent, with a median decline of 0.8 percent. The largest over-the-month employment cuts occurred in the Northeast Lower Michigan region (-1.8 percent) and the Lansing metro area (-1.4 percent). Detroit was the only metro area to exhibit a slight employment gain over the month, edging up by 0.2 percent.

Over the year, employment advanced in 15 regions, fell in the Bay City metro area (-1.0 percent), and remained unchanged in the Midland region. Over-the-year advances ranged from 0.2 to 2.4 percent, with a median increase of 1.6 percent.

Labor force levels down over month, up over year
Workforce levels fell seasonally over the month in 13 regions, with reductions ranging from 0.1 to 1.2 percent. The largest labor force declines occurred in the Lansing (-1.2 percent) and Monroe (-0.9 percent) MSAs. Workforce levels advanced in the Detroit (+0.6 percent), Upper Peninsula (+0.3 percent), and Northwest Lower Michigan (+0.2 percent) regions and remained unchanged since November in the Saginaw MSA.

Since December 2018, regional workforce levels rose in 11 areas and fell in six. Workforce advances ranged from 0.4 to 1.7 percent, with a median increase of 1.0 percent.  

December payroll jobs down seasonally
The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan fell by 18,000 in December to 4,468,000. Seasonal job cuts were seen in professional and business services (-13,000), construction (-9,000), and government (-5,000). The only over-the-month nonfarm job increase of note occurred in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+8,000).   

Nonfarm jobs receded in 10 of Michigan’s 14 metro regions in December. Payroll employment edged up slightly in the Detroit MSA and remained unchanged in the Flint, Muskegon, and Saginaw regions. Regional job declines ranged from 0.1 to 1.4 percent.

Over the year, unadjusted payroll jobs rose statewide by 20,000, or 0.5 percent. Six Michigan metro regions registered percentage job gains over this period.

County jobless rates up over month, down over year
Eighty of Michigan’s 83 counties exhibited seasonal jobless rate increases in December, with a median hike of 0.7 percentage points. St. Joseph County’s rate edged down slightly, while Lenawee and Washtenaw counties’ jobless rates remained unchanged since November.

Over the year, unemployment rates fell in 78 counties, with a median decrease of 0.6 percentage points. Rates edged up in four counties and remained unchanged in Lapeer County over the year.

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

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

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