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Michigan jobless rate decreases during May

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.7 percent between April and May, according to data released today by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Employment in the state advanced by 33,000, while unemployment fell by 7,000, resulting in a net statewide labor force increase of 26,000 over the month.   

“Michigan’s declining unemployment rate has signaled a strong job market so far in 2023,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director for the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. “Payroll employment has risen for the seventh consecutive month as businesses continue hiring workers.”

The U.S. unemployment rate increased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent during May. Michigan’s May jobless rate matched the national unemployment rate for the first time since June 2018. Over the year, the U.S. rate advanced by one-tenth of a percentage point, while the statewide rate receded by three-tenths of a percentage point.  

Labor force trends and highlights

  • Michigan’s May labor force level of 4,895,000 was the largest workforce total seen in the state since July 2020 (4,954,000).
  • Total employment in the state rose by 0.7 percent over the month, while the national employment level decreased by 0.2 percent since April.
  • Over the year, the number of unemployed people in Michigan fell by 6.8 percent. The national unemployment level advanced by 2.0 percent during the same period.
  • The May statewide labor force participation rate rose by three-tenths of a percentage point to 60.5 percent over the month, while Michigan’s employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage points to 58.3 percent.

Detroit metro area unemployment rate declines in May

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted employment level advanced by 11,000 over the month, while unemployment declined by 3,000, resulting in a labor force gain of 7,000 and a jobless rate reduction during May.  

The Detroit MSA unemployment rate was reduced by six-tenths of a percentage point over the year. Employment rose by 14,000 and unemployment receded by 11,000, resulting in a minor workforce gain of 3,000 since May 2022.

Michigan payroll employment increases during May

According to the monthly survey of employers, Michigan seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs rose by 15,000, or 0.3 percent, over the month, with minor employment increases seen across multiple industries.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • Total nonfarm jobs in the state rose for the seventh consecutive month in May.
  • The state’s payroll job increase of 15,000 in May was well above the average monthly gain of 8,000 over the prior six months.
  • Michigan’s leisure and hospitality sector demonstrated the largest employment gain over the month, with employment advancing by 6,000, or 1.3 percent, since April.
  • Statewide nonfarm jobs advanced by 82,000, or 1.9 percent, over the year.
  • On a percentage basis, the state’s leisure and hospitality sector demonstrated the largest over-the-year employment increase (+4.3 percent).
  • Average weekly earnings in Michigan’s transportation equipment manufacturing sector rose by 5.1 percent over the year.
  • In May 2023, payroll jobs in Michigan remained 10,000 lower than the pre-pandemic level recorded in February 2020.

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


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