May Jobless Rate Ticks Up Ever So Slightly in Michigan

Truth be told it was a small blip, but it was an uptick just the same for the unemployment rate in Michigan for May.

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point to 4.2-percent in May, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Total employment remained unchanged over the month while the number of unemployed moved up by 5,000.

The state’s May unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 3.6-percent.

Since May 2018, the Michigan jobless rate was unchanged. The national jobless rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point during that same period.

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Jason Palmer is Director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives in Michigan. He says, “The uptick in Michigan’s May jobless rate reflected an increase in unemployment and a decrease in payroll jobs,” but points out, “Despite this over-the-month reduction, payroll jobs over the year advanced by 23,000.”

Here are Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights for Michigan:

  • Since October 2018, Michigan’s monthly unemployment rate has remained within the narrow band of 4.0 to 4.2-percent.
  • Michigan’s workforce increased for the ninth consecutive month in May. The state’s labor force has grown by 59,000, or 1.2-percent, since August 2018.
  • Michigan’s total number of unemployed advanced for the third consecutive month in May. The May 2019 count of 207,000 unemployed was the state’s highest total since April 2018.
  • Over the year, total employment advanced by 46,000 or 1.0-percent, and unemployment rose by 3,000, or 1.5-percent. Nationally, total employment increased by 0.9-percent and unemployment fell by 3.9-percent.

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA’s) seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point in May to 4.5-percent. Total employment fell by 3,000 while unemployment moved up by 4,000 over the month.  The Detroit metro area’s labor force edged up by 2,000 since April.

Since May 2018, the Detroit metropolitan area’s jobless rate rose by half of a percentage point to 4.5-percent. Total employment advanced by 22,000, or 1.1-percent, while the number of unemployed moved up by 10,000, or 11.6-percent. The Detroit MSA workforce advanced by 33,000, or 1.6-percent, over the year.

According to Michigan’s monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs dropped by 6,000 in May to 4,438,000. Notable job declines over the month occurred in Retail trade (-6,000), Manufacturing (-2,000), and Education and health services (-2,000). Professional and business services exhibited the largest numeric job gain in May (+3,000).

Here are Industry Employment Trends and Highlights for Michigan:

  • May marked the second consecutive month of payroll employment declines in 2019. Since January, nonfarm jobs fell by a modest 6,000, or 0.1-percent.
  • On a percentage basis, Michigan’s Information sector recorded the largest over-the-month employment gain, edging up by 1.4-percent in May.
  • Manufacturing in Michigan recorded a job decline for the third consecutive month. The May job reduction reflected a temporary retooling layoff in the auto sector. Manufacturing jobs fell by 5,000 since February 2019, or 0.8-percent.
  • Michigan’s Leisure and hospitality sector added jobs for the fifth consecutive month in May, resulting in a record high job total of 443,000.
  • On a numerical basis, Michigan’s Education and health services sector demonstrated the largest over-the-year employment decrease out of all major industries, receding by 6,000 since May 2018.
  • Payroll employment over the year advanced by 23,000 or 0.5-percent, more than a full percentage point below the national over-the-year employment gain of 1.6-percent.