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Michigan regional unemployment rates decrease in August


Sept. 23, 2021
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates declined in 15 of Michigan's 17 labor market areas in August, according to data released today from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

"Most of Michigan's regional labor markets displayed typical seasonal trends in August," said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "Unemployment rates fell in most areas. Two regions with jobless rate increases in August had temporary auto-related layoffs due to the continuing semiconductor chip shortage."

Regional unemployment rate declines ranged from 0.2 to 1.7 percentage points, with a median decrease of 0.8 percentage points. The most pronounced over-the-month jobless rate reduction occurred in the Monroe metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The Lansing and Flint metro areas were the only two regions with jobless rate increases in August, largely due to auto-related layoffs.

Regional unemployment rates recede over year

Jobless rates fell in all 17 Michigan labor market areas over the year. Rate drops ranged from 0.5 to 6.9 percentage points, with a median decrease of 1.7 percentage points.

August regional jobless rates were above pre-pandemic August 2019 levels. Fifteen Michigan labor market areas had unemployment rate increases over the last two years, with a median gain of a full percentage point.

Total employment declines over month, displays mixed trends over the year

Regional employment levels decreased in 12 labor market areas over the month. Reductions ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 percent, with a median decline of 0.4 percent. The largest August employment drop occurred in the Flint MSA. Employment advanced in the Detroit metro area, and small gains were recorded in the Grand Rapids metro area and in Northeast Lower Michigan. Employment remained unchanged in August in the Midland and Upper Peninsula regions.

Over the year, 10 Michigan regions recorded employment reductions with a median decline of 0.4 percent. Seven regions exhibited over-the-year employment increases with a median advance of 0.8 percent.

Despite mixed trends over the year, regional employment totals remained below August 2019 levels, with a median drop of 5.0 percent over the two-year period. The largest reduction occurred in the Flint MSA.

Regional labor force levels down over month and year

Workforce levels fell in all 17 Michigan regions during August, with a median decline of 1.0 percent. The largest over-the-month labor force reductions occurred in both the Muskegon and Monroe metro areas (-1.9 percent).

Over the year, all 17 regions also exhibited labor force cuts. The most pronounced workforce reduction occurred in the Muskegon MSA (-4.7 percent).

Regional nonfarm employment trends mixed in August

The monthly survey of employers indicated that not seasonally adjusted Michigan total payroll jobs rose by 16,000 during August, or 0.4 percent, to 4,185,000. Most Michigan industries in August registered minor employment changes, although job gains were led by the manufacturing sector (+7,000).

Total nonfarm jobs decreased in nine Michigan metro areas during August, with a median decline of 0.4 percent. The largest employment reduction occurred in the Flint MSA (-3.0 percent), due primarily to a temporary auto layoff in the region. Payroll jobs rose in five regions over the month.

Statewide nonfarm jobs advanced by 142,000, or 3.5 percent, since August 2020. Eleven metro regions exhibited payroll employment gains over the year, with a median addition of 2.5 percent.

County unemployment rates down over month and year

Seventy-nine Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate declines in August, while four counties had jobless rate increases over the month. Over the year, 82 counties recorded unemployment rate reductions. Eaton County's unemployment rate was unchanged since August 2020.

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

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


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