Unemployment in Michigan declines for third consecutive month

Dec 20, 2012

Michigan’s unemployment rate is down two-tenths of a percent to 8.9 percent over the course of November, according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

That's seven-tenths of a percent below last year's November rate.

The labor force declined by 24,000 over the course of the month.

Rick Waclawek , director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said the state’s progress in 2012 marks a modest improvement over last year.

He said that the only significant job gain during the month was in retail trade, as holiday hiring came later than usual.

More highlights from the report:

• 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.

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