Michigan’s March Unemployment Rate Declines

Lansing – Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March decreased over the month by three-tenths of a percentage point to 8.5 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). Total employment increased by 21,000 in March, while the number of unemployed declined by 12,000. The state’s workforce recorded a gain of 9,000 over the month.

The Michigan jobless rate in March 2012 was two full percentage points below the state’s March 2011 rate of 10.5 percent. The national jobless rate decreased by seven-tenths of a percentage point over this period. The state’s unemployment rate in March was similar, but slightly higher than the national rate of 8.2 percent.

“With the March data, Michigan continues to record incremental monthly unemployment rate reductions,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “During the first quarter of 2012, the number of unemployed in Michigan fell by 37,000.”

Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights:

· Michigan’s March 2012 jobless rate was the lowest for the state since the 8.5 percent rate recorded in August 2008.

· Michigan’s workforce rose for the third month in a row in March, moderating the continued over the year decline. From March 2011 to March 2012, the state’s labor force was down by 17,000 or 0.4 percent.

· From the fourth quarter 2011 to the first quarter 2012, Michigan’s quarterly jobless rate fell by eight-tenths of a percentage point from 9.6 to 8.8 percent.

· From March 2011 to March 2012, the number of unemployed in Michigan dropped by 96,000 or nearly 20 percent. Nationally, unemployment declined by 7 percent since March 2011.

· The state’s total employment level rose by 78,000 or 1.9 percent since March 2011, which outpaced the national gain of 1.6 percent over that period.