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Michigan regional jobless rates move up seasonally in January

LANSING, Mich. -- Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates rose in all 17 Michigan labor market areas between December and January, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Michigan regional labor markets exhibited typical seasonal increases in unemployment rates in January,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “January nonfarm job totals also fell seasonally in all Michigan metro areas.”  

January regional unemployment rates ranged from 3.3 to 8.8 percent. Jobless rate advances ranged from 0.4 to 2.2 percentage points, with a median increase of 1.0 percentage point. The most pronounced over-the-month unemployment rate hike occurred in the Northeast Michigan region.

Annual average jobless rates decline in 2021

Annual regional jobless rates in 2021 fell notably in all 17 labor market areas as Michigan continued to experience recalls of workers from layoffs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The most pronounced jobless rate reduction during 2021 occurred in the Detroit metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

Regional employment levels down over month, up over year

Employment levels fell in 16 Michigan labor market areas in January, with a median decline of 0.8 percent. The most prominent over-the-month change was a seasonal employment reduction in the Lansing MSA (-2.8 percent). The Muskegon metro area was the only major labor market without an employment decline in January, recording no change over the month.

Sixteen labor market areas had employment advances since January 2021, with a significant median increase of 3.4 percent. The Detroit metro area exhibited the largest over-the-year employment gain (+5.7 percent). The Lansing MSA was the only region with a small over-the-year employment reduction, which was primarily related to an unusual seasonal job pattern in the state education sector.

Labor force levels mixed over month, up over year

Nine regions recorded workforce advances over the month, led by the Muskegon MSA (+1.1 percent). Labor force totals moved down in seven areas over the month and remained unchanged in the Midland metro area.

Workforce levels rose in 12 labor market areas over the year, with the largest labor force hike occurring in the Detroit MSA (+3.1 percent).

Regional nonfarm jobs decline seasonally during January

According to the monthly survey of employers, Michigan not seasonally adjusted payroll employment fell by 66,000, or 1.5 percent, over the month. This was similar to the seasonal reduction recorded in January 2021, but less than the January job drop in prior years. Employment declines occurred in most major statewide industries, especially trade, transportation, and utilities (-19,000), and government (-17,000).

All 14 metro areas exhibited payroll job decreases over the month, with a median reduction of 1.8 percent. The largest over-the-month job decline occurred in the Lansing MSA (-4.0 percent).

Statewide nonfarm jobs rose by 219,000, or 5.5 percent, since January 2021. All 14 metro regions registered employment advances during this period, with a median increase of 5.2 percent.

County unemployment rates advance over month, decline over year

All 83 Michigan counties had jobless rate increases over the month with the largest rate hike occurring in Mackinac County. Unemployment rates fell in all Michigan counties over the year.

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

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

Note data revisions: The data in this release reflects recently revised historical estimates. All states in the nation participate in this revision process facilitated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Labor force estimates for Michigan counties have been revised for all months of 2021. Revised data will be released in coming weeks for 2010–2020.

In addition, all unadjusted payroll job data for Michigan and all metro areas was revised for 2020 and 2021. For certain industries with larger historical revisions, unadjusted payroll job data was revised for multiple years, some back to 1990. For newly revised data, visit

Previously published data for these years should be discarded and replaced with these new series.

An earlier issue with the monthly county estimates of employment and unemployment for January through August 2021 has been corrected with the annual revision process. Users may download the revised 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. This revised data for all months of 2021 is fully comparable with the data for January 2022.


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