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Michigan regional unemployment rates edge up modestly in February

LANSING, Mich. -- Not seasonally adjusted jobless rates increased in 12 of Michigan’s 17 labor market areas during February, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Most of Michigan’s regional labor markets displayed only minor shifts in unemployment in February,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Payroll jobs rose seasonally in government as classes resumed at area schools and universities, and a few metro areas were impacted by layoffs or recalls in the auto sector.”  

February labor market area unemployment rates ranged from 3.7 to 9.2 percent. Jobless rates moved up from 0.1 to 1.5 percentage points, with a small median increase of two-tenths of a percentage point. The largest over-the-month jobless rate gain occurred in the Monroe metropolitan statistical area (MSA), largely due to regional auto-related layoffs. The Lansing, Flint, and Muskegon MSAs recorded minor unemployment rate reductions over the month. Jobless rates were unchanged in the Battle Creek and Niles-Benton Harbor metro areas during February.

Unemployment rates fell in all 17 labor market areas over the year with a median decrease of 1.5 percentage points. The most pronounced over-the-year rate decline occurred in the Muskegon MSA (-2.2 percentage points).  

Employment levels in regions advance over month and year

Employment totals rose in 12 Michigan labor market areas during February with a median increase of 0.5 percent. The largest over-the-month gain occurred in the Lansing MSA. The Saginaw metro area was the only region with an employment decline over the month (-0.3 percent). The Northeast Lower Michigan region and the Bay City, Monroe, and Muskegon MSAs all registered no employment change in February.

Employment additions occurred in all 17 Michigan labor market areas over the year with a median increase of 2.3 percent.

Regional workforce levels up over month and year

Fifteen labor market areas had workforce increases between January and February with a median gain of 0.5 percent. The largest labor force hike occurred in the Lansing metro area (+1.6 percent). Workforce levels edged down slightly in the Muskegon and Saginaw MSAs.

Thirteen Michigan regions exhibited labor force additions over the year, led by the Detroit metro area (+3.7 percent).

Metro area nonfarm jobs up over the month

Michigan not seasonally adjusted payroll jobs rose in February by 27,000, or 0.6 percent. The most pronounced over-the-month seasonal employment additions occurred in the government sector (+13,000) as local schools and universities resumed classes after the holiday break, and in the professional and business services sector (+11,000).

Payroll jobs advanced in all the state’s metro areas over the month, with a median increase of 1.0 percent. The sharpest job gain was in the Lansing metro area (+2.4 percent), due to recalls in the auto industry, although auto layoffs were registered in February in the Detroit MSA.

Since February 2021, total Michigan payroll employment advanced by 171,000, or 4.2 percent. All 14 metro areas recorded nonfarm job additions with a median over the year hike of 3.9 percent.

County jobless rates rise in February, decrease over year

Fifty-nine Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate increases over the month with the most pronounced jobless rate advance occurring in Monroe County. Thirteen counties recorded rate declines and eleven counties showed no rate changes in February. Unemployment rates fell in 81 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 February workforce estimates for Michigan and its 17 major labor market areas follows, along with a ranking of county jobless rates for February.

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 (BLS). 

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 go to

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 should download the revised 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives website. This revised data for all months of 2021 is fully comparable with the data for February 2022.