Skip to main content

Michigan jobless rate remains unchanged in December

Annual average unemployment rate recedes over year

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained constant between November and December at 4.3 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. Employment in the state advanced by 8,000, while unemployment was unchanged over the month. Michigan’s labor force rose by 9,000 during December.     

“Michigan’s 2023 labor market demonstrated marked improvement over the year, reaching an annual jobless rate slightly below the 2019 pre-pandemic rate,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director for Michigan’s Center for Data and Analytics. “Annual payroll employment also advanced since 2022.”

The national jobless rate remained unchanged over the month at 3.7 percent. Michigan’s December unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate. Over the year, the U.S. unemployment rate advanced by 0.2 percentage points, while Michigan’s rate remained unchanged since December 2022.

Labor force trends and highlights

  • Total employment in the state edged up by 0.2 percent in December, while the national employment level receded by 0.4 percent over the month.
  • The statewide quarterly jobless rate rose by half a percentage point since the third quarter of 2023.
  • The December statewide labor force participation rate advanced by one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 62.2 percent. Michigan’s employment-population ratio also rose by one-tenth of a percentage point to 59.6 percent during December.
  • Michigan’s December 2023 labor force participation rate reached a 14-year high, last surpassed in August 2009 (62.5 percent).

Michigan’s 2023 preliminary annual average labor force data

Michigan’s preliminary annual average unemployment rate in 2023 was 4.0 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point below the 2022 annual average rate of 4.2 percent. Total employment in Michigan averaged 4,772,000 in 2023, while total annual unemployment was 198,000. The state’s annual labor force level was 4,971,000 during 2023.

Annual average trends and highlights

  • Michigan’s annual unemployment rate fell for the third consecutive year in 2023. The state’s 2023 annual rate was 6.0 percentage points below the 2020 pandemic-related annual rate of 10.0 percent.
  • Michigan’s 2023 annual jobless rate was one-tenth of a percentage point below the 2019 annual average pre-pandemic rate of 4.1 percent.
  • Annual average employment in the state rose by 139,000, or 3.0 percent, over the year, while the state’s average number of unemployed fell by 5,000, or 2.5 percent.
  • Michigan’s annual average workforce total in 2023 increased by 2.8 percent over the year.

Detroit metro area unemployment rate unchanged in December

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent over the month. The region’s workforce advanced by 5,000 during December.  

The Detroit MSA jobless rate rose by 0.4 percentage points over the year. Employment rose by 78,000, and unemployment increased by 13,000. The Detroit region’s labor force advanced by 91,000 since December 2022.

Detroit MSA 2023 preliminary annual average labor force trends

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA’s preliminary annual average jobless rate in 2023 was 3.6 percent, 0.2 percentage points below the 2022 average jobless rate of 3.8 percent. The metro area annual jobless rate during 2023 was 0.4 percentage points below the statewide annual unemployment rate.

Michigan nonfarm jobs advance over the month

According to the monthly survey of employers, Michigan seasonally adjusted payroll employment rose by 9,000, or 0.2 percent, during December. The total nonfarm job count was 4,436,000, with employment gains seen in most major industry sectors over the month.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • Nonfarm jobs advanced for the second consecutive month in December, with employment increasing by 20,000, or 0.5 percent, since October 2023.
  • Minor employment gains across multiple industries were partially offset by a decrease in jobs in the state’s professional and business services sector (-2,000).
  • Michigan’s leisure and hospitality industry exhibited the largest numerical over-the-month employment gain during December (+4,000).
  • Average weekly earnings in the state’s manufacturing sector rose by 4.0 percent over the month.
  • The statewide annual average payroll employment total rose for the third consecutive year in 2023. Over the year, Michigan average nonfarm job total advanced by 63,000, or 1.5 percent.
  • Michigan’s annual average nonfarm job total was 386,000, or 9.6 percent, above the 2020 pandemic-related average employment level.
  • The largest over-the-year industry employment gains on a numerical basis occurred in the state’s government (+19,000) and education and health services (+15,000) sectors.

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


Media Contact: