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Michigan jobless rate declines slightly in February

LANSING, Mich. -- On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Michigan unemployment rate moved down in February by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.7 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Over the month, the number of employed persons increased by 14,000, while Michigan’s number of unemployed declined by 6,000 in February, leading to a total workforce advancement of 9,000 or 0.2 percent.

“Michigan’s labor market indicators showed continued signs of improvement in February,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The state’s labor force increased, and the number of unemployed declined, while payroll jobs rose for the tenth consecutive month.”

The February unemployment rate in Michigan was 0.9 percentage points higher than the nationwide rate of 3.8 percent. Nationally, the jobless rate decreased by 2.4 percentage points over the year, more than the Michigan annual rate cut of 1.6 percentage points.

Monthly and annual labor force trends and highlights

  • The Michigan unemployment rate has dropped by a full percentage point since September 2021.
  • The statewide February jobless rate remained nearly a full percentage point above Michigan’s February 2020 pre-pandemic rate of 3.8 percent.
  • Over the year, Michigan’s labor force advanced by 1.1 percent due to an increase in the total number of employed (+124,000) and a decline in the number of unemployed residents (-72,000).

Detroit regional jobless rate inches down in February

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was little changed over the month, edging down by 0.1 percentage point to 5.0 percent in February. The metro area workforce moved up by 8,000, or 0.4 percent, over the month due to a gain in the number of employed (+9,000) and a small decline in the number of unemployed (-2,000).

The Detroit region unemployment rate decreased notably since February 2021 (-1.8 percentage points). Over the year, total employment increased significantly by 83,000, or 4.3 percent. Despite these improvements over the past year, regional labor force (-1.0 percent) and employment (-2.0 percent) continued to remain below February 2020 pre-pandemic levels.

Michigan nonfarm payroll jobs edge up during February

Total Michigan payroll jobs moved up by 9,000, or 0.2 percent, during February. This resulted in a statewide job count of 4,312,000.

Over the month, job additions occurred in several major industries but were concentrated within trade, transportation, and utilities (+6,000) and professional and business services (+5,000).

Job losses during February were primarily in the auto sector, as transportation equipment manufacturing jobs fell by 7,000. These temporary layoffs were related to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • February 2022 was the 10th consecutive month of statewide nonfarm payroll job additions.
  • Michigan’s administrative services sector added 5,000 jobs in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, with significant job gains in the temporary help industry.
  • Despite total nonfarm payroll jobs rising 172,000, or 4.1 percent, over the year, Michigan’s job level was still 141,000 below the February 2020 pre-pandemic count.

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


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. 

Seasonally adjusted and unadjusted monthly labor force estimates from 2017–2021 for Michigan and the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA were revised.

In addition, all unadjusted payroll job data was revised for 2020 and 2021. Seasonally adjusted payroll job data was revised back to 2017 for all industries. For certain industries with larger historical revisions, unadjusted and seasonally adjusted payroll job data was revised for multiple years, some back to 1990. For newly revised data go to

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

An earlier issue with the monthly estimates of employment and unemployment for Michigan and all metro areas and counties for January through August 2021 has been corrected with the annual revision process. Users should download the revised data from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives website. The updated data for 2021 will be fully comparable with newly revised data for prior years.


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