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October Michigan regional jobless rates decline

December 1, 2020
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

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

“Regional jobless rates continued to decrease in October with modest recalls of workers from pandemic-related layoffs,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “However, industry jobs remain well below October 2019 levels.”

Employment and labor force trends over the month and year

Total employment levels advanced in all Michigan metro regions during October, with a median gain of 1.0 percent. The Detroit metro area exhibited the largest employment increase over the month. Employment fell in 15 Michigan labor market areas over the year. Monroe had the largest over-the-year reduction, with employment receding by 5.6 percent since October 2019. 

Michigan regional labor force levels fell over the month, with a median decrease of 1.9 percent. Thirteen Michigan regions exhibited labor force declines over the year, while four recorded workforce advances since October 2019.

Recent pandemic-related regional labor market trends

Michigan regions in October had large percentage drops in the number of unemployed, which were somewhat difficult to evaluate. The impact of the pandemic on labor market trends can be better seen by a comparison of three-month averages for August through October 2020 with pre-pandemic values in February 2020.

Jobless rates up since February

Michigan average regional jobless rates for the three-month period between August and October ranged from 5.5 to 9.3 percent. Sixteen labor market regions exhibited rate advances since February. The most pronounced rate gain occurred in the Muskegon metropolitan statistical area (MSA), with a rate increase of 5.5 percentage points.

Total unemployment up since February

Regional average unemployment levels for the three-month period between August and October moved up sharply in most regions since February, with the largest percentage advance seen in the Ann Arbor MSA.

October jobless rates up over the year

Jobless rates rose in all 17 Michigan labor market areas over the year. The most notable over-the-year unemployment rate advance occurred in the Muskegon metro area, with a rate increase of 2.9 percentage points since October 2019.

Payroll jobs increase slightly in October

The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan advanced moderately in October by 35,000, or 0.9 percent, to 4,072,000. The largest over-the-month nonfarm job addition occurred in the state’s professional and business services sector, with an advance of 14,000 jobs.

Eleven Michigan metro areas exhibited job gains in October. Over-the-month job hikes ranged from 0.2 to 1.7 percent, with the largest percentage job addition in the Lansing MSA. The Monroe metro area was the only region to register a minor decline in employment over the month, and both the Bay City and Niles areas recorded no job change in October.

Total nonfarm jobs in Michigan fell by 386,000, or 8.6 percent, over the year. All 14 metro regions exhibited employment declines over the year, led by the Monroe MSA (-14.1 percent).

County jobless rates down over the month, up over the year

All 83 Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate reductions over the month, led by Wayne County (-4.4 percentage points). Over the year, 70 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 October workforce estimates for Michigan and its 17 major labor market areas follows, along with a listing of county jobless rates for October.

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