October jobless rate drops in Michigan

Lansing – Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates edged downward in 16 of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in October, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.  Total employment and labor force levels increased in the majority of regions over the month.  Two Upper Michigan counties again were at the top and bottom of the list:  Mackinac County was 4.3 percent, Baraga County was 12.7 percent in October, 2012.

“Michigan’s local labor markets were very stable in October,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives.  “With ten of the 12 months in the books, some important trends for 2012 are evident.  Jobless rates for the state’s local labor markets improved over 2011 and payroll jobs for most metropolitan areas have advanced.  Two industry sectors in particular have been a driving force in nearly all metro regions; professional and business services and manufacturing.”

From October 2011 to October 2012, unemployment rates fell in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas.  Nearly all of the over-the-year rate reductions were substantial, with a median decline of 1.4 percentage points.  Only the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA (-0.1 of a percentage point) had less than a full percentage point rate decline since October 2011.

Since October 2011, total employment rose in all 17 regions.  Over-the-year gains were mostly significant, with a median jump of 2.3 percent.  The largest advances since October 2011 were displayed in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Holland-Grand Haven, and Jackson MSAs.  The smallest employment gain over the year was recorded in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA.

Sixty-seven of Michigan’s 83 counties recorded mostly minor seasonal unemployment rate reductions in October, with a median decline of 0.4 of a percentage point. Twelve counties reported mostly marginal rate increases, while four counties saw no change.  In October, nearly half of Michigan’s counties displayed jobless rates at or below the national non-seasonally adjusted rate of 7.5 percent.

From October 2011 to October 2012, unemployment rates decreased in 81 Michigan counties, with a significant 1.5 percentage point median decline.  One county’s rate increased over this period, while one county’s rate was unchanged.

In the Upper Peninsula, the October, 2011 unemployment rate was 8.1 percent.  September, 2012 saw a rate of 7.2 percent, and the rate was down to 6.8 percent in October, 2012. That compares to the Michigan rates for those periods, respectively of 9.1, 8.2 and 8.3 percent.

MICHIGAN COUNTIES RANKED BY UNEMPLOYMENT RATEOCTOBER 2012

1

Mackinac County

4.3

43

Shiawassee County

7.7

2

Washtenaw County

4.6

44

Manistee County

7.9

3

Clinton County

4.9

45

Alger County

8.0

4

Barry County

5.0

46

Chippewa County

8.0

5

Eaton County

5.1

47

Gogebic County

8.0

6

Leelanau County

5.2

48

Missaukee County

8.0

7

Isabella County

5.4

49

Sanilac County

8.0

8

Kent County

5.5

50

Tuscola County

8.0

9

Ottawa County

5.5

51

Genesee County

8.1

10

Allegan County

5.6

52

Livingston County

8.1

11

Cass County

5.7

53

Ogemaw County

8.2

12

Menominee County

5.7

54

Antrim County

8.3

13

Marquette County

5.8

55

Crawford County

8.4

14

Midland County

5.8

56

Emmet County

8.4

15

Cheboygan County

5.9

57

Hillsdale County

8.4

16

Huron County

5.9

58

Iosco County

8.4

17

Kalamazoo County

5.9

59

Charlevoix County

8.5

18

Calhoun County

6.1

60

Oceana County

8.5

19

Dickinson County

6.1

61

Osceola County

8.5

20

Grand Traverse County

6.4

62

Schoolcraft County

8.7

21

Newaygo County

6.4

63

Otsego County

8.8

22

Houghton County

6.5

64

Roscommon County

8.9

23

Ingham County

6.5

65

Keweenaw County

9.0

24

Ionia County

6.5

66

Montcalm County

9.0

25

Monroe County

6.6

67

Oakland County

9.0

26

Iron County

6.7

68

Clare County

9.1

27

St. Joseph County

6.8

69

Luce County

9.3

28

Bay County

6.9

70

Arenac County

9.4

29

Delta County

7.0

71

Wexford County

9.9

30

Jackson County

7.0

72

Gladwin County

10.1

31

Van Buren County

7.0

73

Lake County

10.2

32

Mason County

7.1

74

Macomb County

10.3

33

Mecosta County

7.2

75

Ontonagon County

10.3

34

Benzie County

7.3

76

Lapeer County

10.6

35

Berrien County

7.3

77

Presque Isle County

10.6

36

Branch County

7.3

78

Alcona County

11.3

37

Lenawee County

7.3

79

St. Clair County

11.3

38

Saginaw County

7.3

80

Montmorency County

11.7

39

Alpena County

7.4

81

Wayne County

11.9

40

Gratiot County

7.4

82

Oscoda County

12.1

41

Muskegon County

7.5

83

Baraga County

12.7

42

Kalkaska County

7.7