January Jobless Rates Increase

Lansing – Seasonal job cuts pushed unadjusted unemployment rates upward in all of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in January, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Total employment and labor force levels fell in nearly all of regions in January.

“Michigan’s local labor markets recorded relatively typical changes in January, with seasonal job cuts in nearly all industry sectors,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. “However, for the third consecutive year, seasonal layoffs in manufacturing were far less evident as auto companies and suppliers maintained production schedules.”

From December to January, unemployment rate increases ranged from 0.2 of a percentage point to 1.3 percentage points, with a median advance of 0.6 of a percentage point. The largest over-the-month rate hikes were posted in the Northeast Lower Michigan region and the Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with advances of 1.3 and 1.1 percentage points respectively. On the lower side of rate gains over the month, unemployment rates edged upward by only 0.2 of a percentage point in the Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids-Wyoming, and Kalamazoo-Portage MSAs. In January, six Michigan regions displayed jobless rates below the national seasonally unadjusted rate of 8.8 percent.

From January 2011 to January 2012, unemployment rates fell in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas. Over-the-year rate drops ranged from 1.2 to 2.8 percentage points with a median reduction of 2.0 percentage points. The most pronounced rate declines since January 2011 were recorded in the Monroe, Flint, and Jackson MSAs.

Over the month, total employment declined seasonally in 16 regions, with a median reduction of 2.5 percent. Decreases were most evident in the Northeast and Northwest Lower Michigan regions, along with the Monroe MSA. Employment edged up slightly by 0.1 percent in January in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA.

Since January 2011, total employment declined in nine areas, and rose in eight areas.