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Michigan jobless rate declines in June, but remains well above pre-pandemic levels

July 15, 2020
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 6.5 percentage points to 14.8 percent in June, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (the May Michigan jobless rate was revised up slightly to 21.3 percent). Total employment in June advanced by a significant 464,000 but was still 556,000 below February pre-pandemic levels. Michigan unemployment levels declined by 281,000 in June.

The national jobless rate decreased by 2.2 percentage points between May and June to 11.1 percent. Michigan’s June rate was 3.7 percentage points higher than the U.S. rate. Over the year, the national unemployment rate rose by 7.4 percentage points, while Michigan’s rate advanced by 10.6 percentage points since June 2019.

“Michigan’s labor market in June recorded a notable rebound in jobs, led by significant recalls in the auto industry,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The state unemployment rate also fell significantly but remains well above pre-pandemic levels and is comparable with rates recorded during the Great Recession in 2009.”

Monthly labor force trends and highlights

  • Michigan’s June 2020 rate of 14.8 percent was comparable to Great Recession levels and was two-tenths of a percentage point above the peak Great Recession jobless rate of 14.6 percent during June 2009.
  • The number of unemployed in Michigan rose by over half a million since June 2019.
  • The state’s second quarter 2020 unemployment rate averaged 19.9 percent, which was likely a record high and certainly the highest among comparable quarterly data back to 1976.

Detroit metropolitan area’s jobless rate falls in June

After the very sharp jobless rate advances in April and May, the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved down by 5.5 percentage points in June to 17.7 percent. Employment rose by 197,000, while unemployment fell by 88,000. The Detroit MSA workforce advanced by 109,000 over the month. 

The Detroit metro area unemployment rate jumped sharply by 13.3 percentage points over the year. Total employment tumbled by 376,000, and unemployment expanded by 267,000, resulting in a net labor force cut of 109,000 since June 2019.

June recalls push Michigan jobs higher in June

The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally adjusted jobs in Michigan continued to partially rebound, moving up significantly in June by 290,000. Over the past two months, payroll job recalls in the state have totaled 460,000, but jobs remain 600,000 below pre-pandemic February levels.

Job gains were seen in nearly all major industry sectors. The largest Michigan numeric industry employment advances were recorded in manufacturing (+79,000), due primarily to recalls in the auto sector, and leisure and hospitality (+50,000), as restaurants began to partially re-open in the state.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • Since June 2019, Michigan payroll employment plunged significantly by 569,000, or 12.8 percent.
  • The state’s information sector was the only major industry to exhibit no employment advance over the month.
  • On a percentage basis, Michigan’s leisure and hospitality sector displayed the largest over-the-month employment gain, but this industry remains the hardest hit with the highest over-the-year payroll job reduction (-44.0 percent).
  • All major Michigan industries demonstrated employment declines since June 2019.
  • Michigan’s second quarter 2020 payroll job count of 3,611,000 was 834,000 below the state’s first quarter level of 4,445,000.

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