Economy
4:12 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Michigan's December jobless rate holds at 8.9 percent; annual numbers show improvement

Michigan’s unemployment rate held steady through the month of December at 8.9 percent, according to a report released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

The December rate marks a four-tenths of a percent decrease from last year, while the national jobless rate dropped by seven-tenths of a percent over the same period.

Total employment declined by 11,000 last month.

Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said that, overall, the state’s labor market improved over the course of the year:

“Most of Michigan’s 2012 job gains occurred during the first half of the year…The number of unemployed fell in 2012, and Michigan recorded job gains for a second consecutive year.”

The state’s preliminary numbers for the year show a decrease in the average unemployment from 10.3 percent to 8.9 percent. The U.S. rate fell eight-tenths of a percent drop over that period.

This is the state’s third consecutive year of unemployment rate declines.

The graph above shows DTMB's data on the labor force and the unemployment rate over the past decade.

Earlier this year, Michigan Radio's Mark Brush broke down how the jobs data are acquired and what they mean.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom