Octobers Jobless Rates Decline

    LANSING — The recent numbers out of the Michigan Department of Career Development (MDCD) report that Michigan’s seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate edged downward two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.6 percent.

    Employment in Michigan fell slightly, by 5,000, and unemployment decreased by 10,000.

    With the national rate edging upward by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, October 2002 marked the first month since November 2000 that Michigan’s unemployment rate fell below the national rate.

    Over the two-year period ending in October, the Michigan and U.S. jobless rates increased an identical 1.8 percentage points. Michigan’s October 2002 jobless rate was two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the October 2001 rate of 5.8 percent.

    “Michigan’s unemployment rate in October declined for the third consecutive month,” said Barbara Bolin, director of the MDCD. “In addition we are now below the national unemployment rate.”

    From October 2001 to October 2002 employment in Michigan fell by 44,000 or 0.9 percent. The state’s unemployment level in October 2002 was down 14,000 or more than 4 percent since October 2001. This month represented the first year-over-year decline in unemployment in 2002. Joblessness nationwide was up 7 percent in the same period.

    Michigan’s labor force level over the year recorded a decline of 59,000 or 1.1 percent. This labor force withdrawal was primarily among adult females and youth.

    According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs in October decreased 8,000 to total 4,533,000. Payroll job losses were concentrated in retail trade (-5,000) and manufacturing (-3,000). The remaining major industry categories recorded only minor changes. Payroll employment in October registered its sixth monthly decline in 2002.

    Payroll jobs in Michigan were down 35,000, or 0.8 percent, over the year. The vast majority of job loss has occurred in retail and manufacturing.

    Since October 2001, retail trade employment dropped 23,000, or 2.7 percent, while manufacturing was down 9,000, or 0.9 percent. Almost all industry sectors within retail trade have registered losses over the year.

    Employment in services since October 2001, which overall decreased a mere 1,000 or 0.1 percent, has displayed offsetting among its various sectors.

    While educational services and engineering and management services have recorded modest growth, business services and amusement and recreational services have lost jobs, according to MDCD.           

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