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December Separations in Michigan at Lowest Point Since March 2014

The December release of Michigan’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) saw notable highs and lows, such as a near-decade-low drop in both the separations rate (3.0 percent) and the labor turnover rate (6.2 percent). The job openings rate experienced a significant jump in the latest data, the only metric in this month's data to do so. Other rates that declined over the month include the hires rate (3.2 percent), quits rate (1.8 percent), and the layoffs/discharges rate (0.9 percent).

Job Openings See Sharp Uptick

Michigan recorded approximately 285,000 job openings in December, 22,000 more than the prior month (263,000). This was reflected in a 0.4 percentage point jump in the job openings rate to 6.0 percent. Michigan registered a 5.5 percent average annual job openings rate in 2023, with numeric openings averaging 256,000. This was notably lower than 2022, which averaged 7.0 percent and 329,000 respectively.

The job openings rate in Michigan continues to grow and significantly surpass the national rate.

Source: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The unemployed persons to job openings ratio declined from 0.82 to 0.73 in December. This meant that there were approximately seven available people per 10 job openings. Michigan was above the national ratio (0.69) and fell to the 18th highest of all states compared to seventh highest in the previous month.

Hires Decline Marginally

Michigan employers hired approximately 10,000 fewer individuals in December (145,000) than in November (155,000), which translated to a 0.3 percentage point decline in the hires rate (3.2 percent). As a result of this decline, Michigan became the state with the 10th lowest hires rate. This placed Michigan below the national rate during the month (3.7 percent).

Labor Turnover Declined on Average

Labor turnover in Michigan saw a notable decline in December, dropping by nearly a full percentage point to 6.2 percent. This was below the national rate (7.1 percent) and was the lowest labor turnover has been in Michigan since July 2014 (6.0 percent). On average, labor turnover in Michigan was significantly lower in 2023 than in 2022. Average turnover was nearly a full percentage point lower at 6.9 percent compared to 7.7 percent in the year prior.

Separations at Lowest Point in Nearly a Decade

The separations rate in Michigan fell to 3.0 percent in December, a 0.6 percentage point drop from November (3.6 percent). Notably, this was the fifth lowest of all 50 states and the lowest separations rate Michigan has seen in nearly a decade (March 2014, 2.8 percent). This decline was driven primarily by a significant drop in the quits rate but was also aided by a marginal decline in the layoffs/discharges rate.

Quits declined by approximately 30,000 in December, which dropped Michigan’s quits rate to 1.8 percent. This was below the national quits rate (2.2 percent) and was the sixth lowest among all other states. Like the separations rate, this was significant as it was the lowest recorded quits rate in many years (May 2020, 1.5 percent). Similarly, the layoffs/discharges rate fell to 0.9 percent in December, a 0.1 percentage point drop. Though not as drastic of a drop as the former, this decline combined with the drop in quits drove Michigan’s separations rate to a historic low and helped to continue the downward trend that has been present in recent years.

The Michigan separations rate continues its downward trend as it reaches a near decade-low.

Source: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics