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Michigan regional jobless rates fall in July

August 27, 2020
Laura Wotruba, or 517-282-9753

LANSING, Mich. -- Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates declined in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas during July, according to data released today from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Michigan regional jobless rates were down in July, although total employment levels showed only modest change in many regions in July,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Industry jobs also edged up over the month as the number of unemployed workers in tourism-related businesses continued to moderate.”

Employment and unemployment trends over the month and year
July employment levels were relatively stable among major Michigan regions. Several regions had a monthly job change of less than 0.5 percent. The highest July employment gains were in the Detroit metro area and in northern Michigan. Labor force levels and jobless rates declined in July, although unemployment rates remained well above year-ago levels.

Recent pandemic-related regional labor market trends - May through July 2020
Michigan regions had particularly sharp July changes in unemployment levels, which were difficult to evaluate. The impact of the pandemic on employment trends can be better seen by a comparison of data for May through July 2020 with pre-pandemic values in February 2020.

Jobless rates up substantially since February
Michigan average regional jobless rates for the three-month period between May and July ranged from 11.6 to 18.5 percent. These regional jobless rates jumped sharply since February by 6.7 to 14.7 percentage points. The largest rate gain occurred in the Muskegon metropolitan statistical area (MSA), while the smallest rate advance was seen in the Upper Peninsula region.

Total employment down since February
Employment levels in all of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas receded since February. Reductions ranged from 2.1 to 19.5 percent, with a median decline of 9.6 percent. The most pronounced employment loss was observed in the Detroit MSA.

Regional jobless rates up over year, labor force levels mixed
Michigan major area jobless rates rose significantly since July 2019, with a median gain of 4.3 percentage points. The most notable over-the-year unemployment rate advance occurred in the Muskegon metro area, with a rate increase of 7.4 percentage points between July 2019 and July 2020.

Sixteen Michigan regions demonstrated employment reductions over the year, led by the Detroit MSA (-11.6 percent). 

Nine labor market areas exhibited workforce declines over the past year, led by the Detroit MSA (-6.9 percent). Eight regions had labor force advances. The most pronounced workforce gain was observed in the Ann Arbor MSA, with an increase of 3.1 percent over the year.

Payroll employment edges up in July
The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan rose slightly over the month by 38,000, or 1.0 percent, to 3,927,000. Minor job gains were seen in most statewide industries. The largest over-the-month increase in nonfarm employment occurred in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector, with an addition of 30,000 jobs. Government was the only industry to exhibit a substantial seasonal job cut over the month (-30,000).

Total nonfarm employment advanced in ten Michigan metro areas in July. Over-the-month job hikes were minor, ranging from 0.2 to 2.3 percent, with the largest percentage job gain occurring in the Bay City MSA. The Lansing and Monroe metro regions exhibited minor reductions in payroll jobs, while the Battle Creek and Midland area employment levels remained unchanged in July.

Michigan’s nonfarm job levels dropped sharply over the year, plunging by 484,000 since July 2019.  All 14 metro regions exhibited nonfarm employment declines over the year, led by the Monroe MSA (-14.9 percent).

County jobless rates down over month, up over year
All 83 Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate reductions over the month, led by Alger County (-9.3 percentage points). Over the year, all 83 counties registered unemployment rate advances.  

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


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

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