November Unemployment Rate Declines

Lansing – Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November edged down over the month by two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.9 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).  The state’s labor force level recorded a reduction of 24,000 over the month as total employment declined by 9,000 and the number of unemployed decreased by 15,000.


The Michigan jobless rate in November 2012 was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the state’s November 2011 rate of 9.6 percent.  The national jobless rate decreased by one percentage point over this period.  The state’s unemployment rate in November was one and two-tenths percentage points above the national rate of 7.7 percent.  The U.S. jobless rate also declined over the month by two-tenths of a percentage point.


“Although there has been improvement this year over 2011 in the state’s labor market, Michigan’s progress in 2012 has been modest,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.  “In November, the only significant job gain was in retail trade; however seasonal holiday hiring by retailers this fall was somewhat later than usual.”


Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights


·         November’s jobless rate was the lowest for the state since the June rate of 8.6 percent, and the November rate matched Michigan’s eleven-month 2012 average (8.9%).


·         Michigan’s unemployment rate decline in November was the third consecutive monthly rate decrease.  The state’s rate has moved downward by a half percentage point since the 2012 high of 9.4 percent posted in August.


·         Michigan’s workforce drop in November was the first monthly decline since August.  The November labor force level was the lowest in the state since February, however it remained above the November 2011 level by 14,000.


·         From November 2011 to November 2012, total employment in Michigan increased by 46,000 or 1.1 percent.  The national rate of increase over the same period was 1.9 percent.


·         Since November 2011, the number of unemployed in the state fell by 32,000 or 7.2 percent.