Michigan’s February Unemployment Rate Edges Downward

Lansing – Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February continued its downward trend, declining over the month by two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.8 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). Total employment rose by 22,000 in February as the number of unemployed declined by 8,000. The state’s workforce grew by 14,000 over the month.

The Michigan jobless rate in February 2012 was nearly two full percentage points below the state’s February 2011 rate of 10.7 percent. The national jobless rate decreased by seven-tenths of a percentage point over this period.

“For a number of years, Michigan’s jobless rate remained well above the national rate. However, as of February 2012, the state’s unemployment rate was only a half percentage point above the U.S. rate,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The professional and business service sector in Michigan has recently displayed significant momentum, adding jobs in February for the seventh consecutive month.”

Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights

· February marked the seventh consecutive monthly jobless rate decline in Michigan. The state’s monthly unemployment rates have recorded a downward trend since mid-2009.

· Michigan’s workforce rose for the second month in a row in February, however it continues to be down over the year. From February 2011 to February 2012, Michigan’s labor force decreased by 28,000 or 0.6 percent. In general, the state’s labor force has been receding since 2006.

· February’s total employment gain in Michigan continued a string of fairly strong monthly advances since mid-year 2011. Since February 2011, employment in the state has risen by 62,000 or 1.5 percent, which is slightly below the national rate of increase of 1.8 percent over the same period.

· From February 2011 to February 2012, the number of unemployed in Michigan dropped by 90,000 or 18 percent. Nationally, unemployment declined by 7 percent since February 2011.