Rates changed little in most regional labor markets


    Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were little changed in most of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in June, according to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. Total employment and labor force levels advanced seasonally in almost all regions.

    From May to June, payroll jobs increased moderately in 11 of the 14 major metropolitan areas in the state. Job reductions in June of around 6,000 were recorded in the Lansing-East Lansing, while minor declines were posted in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming and Jackson MSAs.

    Michigan’s local labor markets in June were relatively stable, with most regions reporting typical, seasonal changes. Jobless rates have declined over the year in a number of the state’s local areas.

    From May to June, unemployment rates increased slightly in nine regions and declined somewhat in seven areas. The rate in the Battle-Creek Metropolitan Statistical Area was unchanged. The jobless rate increases in the nine areas ranged from 0.1 to 0.6 of a percentage point with a median advance of only 0.2 of a percentage point. The largest rate hikes of around a half percentage point occurred in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Ann Arbor and Lansing-East Lansing MSAs. The unemployment rate reductions over the month in the seven areas ranged from 0.1 to 0.7 of a percentage point, with the largest declines posted in the Northwest Lower Michigan region and the Flint MSA.

    From June 2009 to June 2010, 14 of Michigan’s 17 major regions recorded jobless rate declines. Jobless rates in several regions were near recession peaks in June 2009. The decreases were wide ranging from 0.1 to 3.1 percentage points with an average drop of around a full percentage point. The largest declines since June 2009 were displayed in the Monroe, Detroit-Warren-Livonia, and Flint MSAs. Jobless rates were up very slightly over the year in the Kalamazoo-Portage and Niles-Benton Harbor MSAs, while the rate in the Northwest Lower Michigan region was unchanged in this period.

    Total employment increased in June in 15 of 17 regions, with an average gain of a little over 1.0 percent. The largest June employment increases on a percentage basis were posted in the Northwest and Northeast Lower Michigan regions as hiring continued for the summer tourism season. Total employment declines were registered over the month in the Lansing-East Lansing and Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSAs.

    Since June 2009, total employment decreased in nine regions with an average drop of 1.6 percent. Employment totals increased in eight areas over the year with an average gain of 0.7 percent.

    In June, labor force levels increased in 16 regions with most areas showing advances of around 1.0 percent or greater. The labor force level in the Lansing-East Lansing MSA fell seasonally.

    Between June 2009 and June 2010, 16 regions reported labor force reductions. The declines were wide ranging, but averaged one and a half percent. The Saginaw-Saginaw Township North MSA reported a slight labor force gain over the year.

    The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan increased by 15,000 in June to 3,910,000. Private sector jobs in the state rose in June by 34,000 as seasonal gains were recorded in leisure and hospitality services (+14,000), trade, transportation and utilities (+8,000), professional and business services (+6,000), and construction (+5,000). Manufacturing jobs also advanced in June, up 10,000, as all metropolitan regions in the state showed either growth or stability in this sector. Private sector gains were partially offset by a 12,000 decline in education and health services, primarily the result of a seasonal drop in private education.

    Government jobs fell statewide by 20,000 in June. Seasonal cutbacks were reported in state and local government education with the beginning of summer break at a number of area schools and universities. Decreases in local government education were evident in a number of areas across the state, while reductions in state government education were most prominent in the Lansing-East Lansing MSA. Job losses in the public sector were compounded with the drop of around 10,000 jobs in federal government employment with the completion of some temporary U.S. Census employment.

    Rick Waclawek is director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives.

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