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Regional unemployment rates decline in August

September 24, 2020
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates moved down in 16 of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas during August, according to data released today from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Regional unemployment rates in August continued their recent pattern of monthly reductions since their pandemic-related spike in April,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Most regions recorded solid employment gains and drops in unemployed as payroll jobs advanced throughout the state.”

Michigan’s regional unemployment rates ranged from 6.9 to 11.4 percent in August. Rate declines ranged from 0.9 to 1.5 percentage points, with a median decrease of 1.2 percentage points. The most pronounced rate reduction occurred in the Northeast Lower Michigan region. The Detroit metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was the only region to exhibit a minor rate increase over the month, edging up by 0.1 percentage points to 10.2 percent in August.  

Jobless rates up over the year
Jobless rates advanced over the year in all 17 Michigan regions, with a median rate hike of 4.2 percentage points. The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase occurred in the Muskegon MSA (+7.2 percentage points), while the smallest was seen in the Upper Peninsula (+2.2).  

Total employment up over month, down over year
Total employment advanced in all of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas over the month. Employment gains were solid, ranging from 1.4 to 3.3 percent, with a median increase of 1.6 percent. The largest over-the-month percent employment addition occurred in the Upper Peninsula, while the smallest was observed in the Lansing metro region.

Fifteen Michigan regions displayed employment reductions over the year. The largest over-the-year drop was in the Detroit MSA (-9.6 percent).

Regional labor force levels advance over the month and year
Workforce levels registered increases in 15 Michigan regions between July and August. These gains ranged from 0.2 to 2.6 percent, with a median hike of 0.6 percent. The largest over-the-month labor force advance was seen in the Detroit metro region. The Jackson and Muskegon MSAs both displayed minor workforce reductions over the month, with a decrease of 0.1 percent in each region.  

Fourteen regions demonstrated labor force advances over the year. The Monroe, Bay City, and Detroit metro areas all exhibited workforce declines since August 2019.

Industry jobs advance in August in all Michigan metro areas
The monthly survey of employers revealed that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan moved up in all regions, and rose statewide by 58,000, or 1.5 percent. Employment gains occurred statewide in most major Michigan industries. The largest payroll employment addition on a numerical basis was in the government sector (+19,000). This increase was due to the beginning of hiring in local schools and universities for the fall semester, as well as the hiring of temporary census workers in the federal government sector.

Nonfarm jobs rose in all fourteen Michigan metro regions in August. Over-the-month job gains ranged from 0.5 to 1.9 percent, with the largest percentage job addition in the Grand Rapids MSA.

Michigan’s nonfarm job levels dropped significantly over the year by 455,000 or 10.2 percent. All 14 metro regions exhibited nonfarm employment declines over the year, led by the Monroe MSA (-13.6 percent).

County jobless rates down over month, up over year
Eighty-two Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate reductions in August, led by Cheboygan County (-2.4 percentage points). Wayne County was the only county to exhibit a rate gain over the month (+0.4 percentage points). Over the year, all 83 counties recorded unemployment rate increases.   

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

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