Michigan Jobless Rate Inches Higher for July

It’s still a fairly robust employment scene in the Great Lakes State, however, Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point over the month to 4.3-percent, according to the latest data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Total employment edged up by 1,000, while unemployment increased slightly by 2,000 in July, resulting in a small monthly labor force gain of 3,000.

The state’s unemployment rate in July was six-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 3.7-percent, which was unchanged over the month.

The Michigan jobless rate in July 2019 was three-tenths of a percentage point above the state’s July 2018 rate of 4.0-percent, whereas the national jobless rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point over that same period.

Jason Palmer, who serves as Director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives says, “Despite a minor jobless rate increase, Michigan’s total workforce and employment levels have both advanced over the past year,” noting, “Since July 2018, the state’s labor force expanded by 65,000 residents and employment was up by 47,000.”

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Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights cited in the report include:

  • The state labor force expanded by 65,000 or 1.3-percent over the year, outpacing the U.S. workforce growth of 0.7-percent.
  • Michigan’s total workforce level of 4,961,000 in July was the highest recorded in the state since January 2008.
  • The number of unemployed in Michigan rose for the fifth consecutive month in July. Unemployment has increased by 16,000, or 8.2-percent since the beginning of 2019.
  • Michigan’s over-the-year employment expansion of 1.0-percent was slightly above employment growth nationally at 0.8-percent.

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA’s) seasonally adjusted jobless rate was unchanged in July at 4.6-percent. Both total employment and the number of unemployed inched up by 2,000 over the month, resulting in a net workforce gain of 4,000 since June.

Since July 2018, the Detroit metro area unemployment rate moved up by half a percentage point. Employment rose by 20,000, or 1.0-percent, while total unemployment increased by 14,000, or 16.3-percent. The Detroit MSA workforce advanced by 34,000, or 1.6-percent, over the year.

According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted payroll jobs in Michigan fell by 6,000 over the month to 4,440,000. Most industry employment changes in July were minimal, apart from a job cut in education and health services (-6,000).

July was the third month so far in 2019 with a monthly reduction in payroll jobs. Since December 2018, Michigan nonfarm jobs edged up by 8,000, an increase of 0.2-percent.

The state’s information industry demonstrated the largest over-the-month job decline on a percentage basis, edging down by 1.9-percent in July.

Michigan’s education and health services industry had the most pronounced over-the-year job reduction on both a numerical (-10,000) and percentage (-1.5-percent) basis, with job cuts concentrated in the health services sector.

The leisure and hospitality industry in Michigan exhibited the largest numerical over-the-year increase in jobs, advancing by 9,000 since July 2018.

From July 2018 to July 2019, payroll jobs in Michigan advanced by 18,000, or 0.4-percent, about a percentage point below the national over-the-year payroll employment increase of 1.5-percent.

Seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings of production workers in manufacturing moved up over the month and over the year, while average weekly hours decreased both over the month and over the year.