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Michigan unemployment rate increases during October as payroll jobs fall

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate advanced by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.1 percent during October, according to data released today by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Employment in the state rose by 9,000, and unemployment increased by 15,000 over the month. Michigan’s labor force rose by 23,000 between September and October.   

“Michigan’s labor market was largely influenced by strikes and associated layoffs in the state’s auto sector during October,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director for the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. “Payroll jobs fell over the month, and jobless rates advanced both at the statewide level and within the Detroit metro area.”    

The national unemployment rate edged up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9 percent over the month. Michigan’s October rate was two-tenths of a percentage point larger than the U.S. rate. The U.S. jobless rate advanced by two-tenths of a percentage point over the year, while Michigan’s rate receded by three-tenths of a percentage point since October 2022.

Please note: This release covers labor market trends for the week of Oct. 8–14, during which time there was an active UAW labor dispute in Michigan. As a result, the strike's impact is reflected in October's employment situation. To learn more about how a strike may affect Michigan's labor market estimates, please refer to the Ask the Economist publication from the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics.

Labor force trends and highlights

  • Michigan’s workforce rose by half a percent over the month, while the national labor force total edged down by 0.1 percent since September.
  • The statewide total unemployment level advanced for the fourth consecutive month during October.
  • Total employment in the state rose by 4.0 percent over the year, an increase over double the employment gain seen nationally (+1.7 percent).
  • The October statewide labor force participation rate increased by two-tenth of a percentage point to 61.8 percent over the month, while Michigan’s employment-population ratio rose by 0.1 percentage points to 59.3 percent.

Detroit metro area jobless rate advances in October

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased notably by four-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 3.8 percent. Employment in the metro area was unchanged over the month, while unemployment rose by 9,000, resulting in a total workforce gain of 9,000 during October.  

The Detroit MSA unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point over the year. Employment rose by 73,000 and unemployment advanced by 5,000. The Detroit region’s labor force increased by 77,000 since October 2022.

Michigan payroll jobs decrease during October

According to the monthly survey of employers, Michigan seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was reduced by 9,000 over the month, or 0.2 percent, resulting in a job total of 4,421,000. The largest over-the-month employment decrease occurred in the state’s manufacturing sector (-9,000), primarily due to auto-related strike and layoff activity during October.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • Michigan total nonfarm jobs receded for the second consecutive month during October, with employment falling by 22,000, or 0.5 percent, since August.
  • Payroll jobs in the state’s transportation equipment manufacturing sector decreased by 10,000, or 5.3 percent, during October.
  • The state’s professional and business services industry exhibited an employment decline for the second consecutive month (-7,000).
  • Michigan total nonfarm employment rose by 41,000, or 0.9 percent, over the year.
  • The largest over-the-year numerical industry job gains occurred in the state’s education and health services (+21,000) and government (+20,000) sectors.
  • Average weekly hours and earnings both fell in Michigan’s manufacturing industry since September.

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



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