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Michigan jobless rate increases in November

December 16, 2020
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate advanced by eight-tenths of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in November, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Michigan’s October rate was revised upwards by six-tenths of a percentage point, from 5.5 to 6.1 percent. Total employment in November moved down by 14,000, while the number of unemployed rose by 43,000. Michigan’s workforce edged up by 30,000 in November. 

The national jobless rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 6.7 percent. Michigan’s November unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage points above the U.S. rate. The national jobless rate rose by 3.2 percentage points over the year, while the state rate advanced by 3.0 percentage points during the same period.

“In November, Michigan’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since April,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “With payroll jobs also decreasing slightly this month, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is still having an impact on the state’s labor market.”

Monthly labor force trends and highlights

  • The state workforce was little changed over the year, edging down by 0.4 percent. In comparison, the national workforce fell by 2.4 percent since November 2019.
  • Michigan’s total number of employed dropped by 3.6 percent over the year, 2.0 percentage points below the employment decline nationwide of 5.6 percent.
  • Since April, total unemployment fell by 761,000, or 69.0 percent.

Detroit metro area unemployment rate jumps in November

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted jobless rate moved up significantly by 2.3 percentage points to 9.3 percent during November. Employment was nearly unchanged, inching up by 1,000 over the month, while the number of regional unemployed rose by 53,000, resulting in a net workforce gain of 54,000.  

The Detroit MSA unemployment rate advanced by 5.3 percentage points over the year.  Employment fell by 101,000 and unemployment rose by 116,000 since November 2019.

Michigan nonfarm payroll job levels decline in November

The monthly survey of employers demonstrated that seasonally adjusted payroll employment receded by 11,000 over the month, or 0.3 percent, to a total of 4,024,000. This was the third consecutive month of relatively modest job change in Michigan.

The largest job reductions occurred in the government (-5,000) and leisure and hospitality (-5,000) sectors.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • The job reduction recorded in November was the first monthly job cut since the very large pandemic-generated plunge in jobs in April 2020.
  • Since April, Michigan added 623,000 nonfarm jobs. However, the November payroll employment total was still 438,000 below the February pre-pandemic level.
  • The state’s construction industry was one of only a few that exhibited a minor employment increase over the month, adding 2,000 jobs.
  • The November drop in government jobs partially reflected the layoff of temporary workers hired to conduct the 2020 census.
  • Over the year, payroll jobs in Michigan declined sharply by 419,000, or 9.4 percent.
  • On a numerical basis, Michigan’s leisure and hospitality sector registered the largest over-the-year payroll job reduction (-143,000), followed by manufacturing (-63,000).

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