Michigan Unemployment Drops

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December declined by half a percentage point to 9.3 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). Total employment increased by 13,000 over the month and the number of unemployed fell by 25,000. The state’s workforce declined by 12,000 in December.

The Michigan jobless rate in December 2011 was one and eight-tenths percentage points below the December 2010 rate of 11.1 percent. The national jobless rate decreased by nine-tenths of a percentage points over this period.

“Michigan’s jobless rate fell again in December, as the state added jobs in professional and technical services and manufacturing,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “For 2011 as a whole, the state recorded a significant decline in the unemployment rate and a modest gain in payroll jobs.”

Michigan’s December jobless rate at 9.3 percent was the lowest for the state since the 8.9 percent rate posted in September 2008. December marked the fourth consecutive monthly increase in statewide total employment, along with the fourth monthly decline in the number of unemployed.

Michigan’s preliminary annual average unemployment rate in 2011 was 10.4 percent, marking a drop of more than two full percentage points from the 2010 annual rate of 12.5 percent. Total employment averaged 4,216,000 in 2011, while unemployment averaged 487,000. The state’s annual labor force level was 4,703,000.