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Michigan regional unemployment rates advance in December


Jan. 28, 2021
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- Not seasonally adjusted jobless rates increased in all 17 major Michigan labor market areas over the month, according to data released today from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Regional labor markets experienced pandemic-related and seasonal job cuts in December,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Preliminary 2020 annual average jobless rates rose significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Regional jobless rates in the state ranged from 3.6 to 10.1 percent in December. Jobless rate advances over the month varied from 0.2 to 1.7 percentage points, with a median increase of six-tenths of a percentage point. The Northeast Lower Michigan region exhibited the largest unemployment rate gain between November and December.  

Annual average unemployment rates up over year
Preliminary annual average data indicates that regional jobless rates rose significantly in all of Michigan’s 17 major regions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rates jumped by 3.0 to 7.5 percentage points, with a median increase of 4.9 percentage points. The largest 2020 jobless rate hike occurred in the Muskegon metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

Total employment declined in December and over the year
Total employment fell in all 17 Michigan regions between November and December. Employment declines ranged from 2.9 to 8.5 percent, with a notable median reduction of 4.1 percent. The largest over-the-month percent employment decrease occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region.

All 17 Michigan regions exhibited employment reductions over the year, with a large median decrease of 6.8 percent. The Monroe MSA had the largest decline, with employment falling sharply by 9.7 percent since December 2019.

Labor force levels drop across Michigan regions
All 17 Michigan labor market areas registered workforce reductions during December. Decreases ranged from 2.2 to 6.9 percent, with a median drop of 3.4 percent. The largest monthly percent workforce decline was seasonal and occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region.  

Labor force levels dropped markedly in all Michigan regions over the year, reflecting pandemic-related reductions in workforce participation. The Monroe metro area recorded the largest workforce decrease since December 2019 (-8.1 percent).

Regional nonfarm job levels fall significantly in December
The monthly survey of employers showed that not seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs fell sharply in December by 84,000, or 2.1 percent, to 3,981,000, largely due to layoffs in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector (-59,000).  

Nonfarm jobs declined in all 14 Michigan metro regions over the month. December employment reductions ranged from 1.1 to 3.2 percent, with the largest percentage drops occurring in both the Flint and Bay City MSAs.

Since December 2019, Michigan nonfarm jobs fell substantially by 483,000, or 10.8 percent, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s labor market. All 14 metro regions recorded payroll job reductions over the year, led by the Monroe metro region (-16.4 percent).

County jobless rates up over month and year
All 83 Michigan counties demonstrated jobless rate hikes in December, led by a seasonal increase in Mackinac County (+5.3 percentage points). Over the year, 66 Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate advances, led by Wayne County (+7.9 percentage points).

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 not seasonally adjusted December workforce estimates for Michigan and its 17 major labor market areas follows, along with a listing of county jobless rates for December.

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