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Labor force gains push regional unemployment rates up during May

LANSING, Mich. -- Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 16 of Michigan’s 17 labor market areas over the month, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Regional jobless rates advanced in May as residents began entering the summer job market,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director for the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. “Payroll employment rose in most metro areas over the month.”

Michigan regional unemployment rates ranged from 3.1 to 5.8 percent in May, with a median jobless rate increase of 0.9 percentage points over the month. The Northeast Lower Michigan region was the only Michigan labor market area to exhibit a decrease in its jobless rate over the month, with a seasonal decline of 0.5 percentage points since April.

Unemployment rates decreased in 10 Michigan labor market areas over the year, with a median rate reduction of 0.2 percentage points. Jobless rates advanced in four Michigan regions over the year and remained unchanged in the Kalamazoo, Niles-Benton Harbor, and Northeast Lower Michigan regions since May 2022.

Regional employment levels up over month and year

Employment increased in 15 Michigan labor market areas over the month, with a median increase of 1.0 percent. The largest over-the-month employment increase occurred in the Northeast Lower Michigan region. Employment edged down slightly over the month in the Ann Arbor metro area (-0.8 percent) and remained unchanged in the Saginaw metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

Total employment rose in all 17 Michigan regions over the year, with a median increase of 3.0 percent. The largest over-the-year employment gain occurred in the Lansing MSA (+5.3 percent).

Regional workforce levels up over month and year

Labor force levels increased in all 17 Michigan labor market areas over the month, ranging from 0.5 percent in the Ann Arbor region to 5.9 percent in the Northwest Lower Michigan region.    

Michigan labor force totals advanced in all 17 regions over the year, with a median increase of 3.0 percent. The Ann Arbor MSA demonstrated the largest over-the-year labor force gain of 4.9 percent.

Regional nonfarm jobs increase in May

According to the monthly survey of employers, Michigan not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 62,000, or 1.4 percent, over the month. Employment gains were seen in most major Michigan industries, with the notable exception of government (-11,000).

Payroll employment rose in 12 metro areas over the month, with a median increase of 0.9 percent. The largest over-the-month gain in jobs occurred in the Detroit MSA (+1.5 percent). Nonfarm jobs edged down over the month in the Ann Arbor and Saginaw metro areas. May job gains were mainly seasonal, with nearly every metro region showing growth in leisure and hospitality, construction, and professional and business services.

Michigan total payroll employment increased by 79,000 over the year, or 1.8 percent. Eleven metro areas demonstrated employment increases over the year, with a median employment gain of 1.6 percent.  

County unemployment rates up over month, mixed over year

Sixty Michigan counties demonstrated unemployment rate increases between April and May, with a median rate gain of 0.8 percentage points. Thirty-seven counties exhibited rate reductions over the year, while 34 counties demonstrated rate increases and 12 county rates remained unchanged since May 2022.

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

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


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