Michigan February Unemployment Rates Decline

Lansing – Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates edged downward in 15 of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in February, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Total employment and labor force levels rose in all regions in February.

“February 2012 was mostly favorable throughout Michigan’s local labor markets,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. “Jobless rates were stable or declining, while the majority of regions reported payroll job gains.”

From January to February, unemployment rate reductions were minor in the 15 regions, with a median decline of 0.2 of a percentage point. The largest rate decreases occurred in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia (-0.5), and Monroe (-0.4) Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The February jobless rate in the Northeast Lower Michigan region edged upward over the month by 0.1 of a percentage point, while the rate was unchanged in the Bay City MSA. In February, only four major areas in Michigan posted unemployment rates over 10.0 percent: the state’s three northernmost labor market regions along with the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA. In contrast, five regions boasted rates under 8.0 percent.

Jobless Rates Down Over Year

From February 2011 to February 2012, unemployment rates fell in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas. Over-the-year rate drops ranged from 1.1 to 2.2 percentage points with a median reduction of 1.7 percentage points. The largest over-the-year jobless rate reductions were registered in the Flint, Holland-Grand Haven, and Jackson MSAs.

Total Employment Up Over Month, Year

Over the month, total employment increased in all 17 regions, with an average advance of 1.3 percent. The largest over-the-month employment gains were displayed in the Ann Arbor, Monroe, and Kalamazoo-Portage MSAs, all with advances of 2.0 percent or greater.

Since February 2011, total employment rose in 15 regions, with an average gain of nearly 2.0 percent. The most pronounced advances over the year were recorded in the Holland-Grand Haven, Muskegon-Norton Shores, and Bay City MSAs. Employment was essentially unchanged over the year in the Monroe MSA, while employment edged downward in the Northeast Lower Michigan region.

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