What's New
MI Unemployment Rate Improves

January 23, 2014 - LANSING — Michigan's unemployment rate declined to 8.4 percent in December, down from 8.8 percent in November.

The annual average jobless rate came in at 8.7 percent for 2013, compared to 8.9 percent in 2012, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

That marks the fourth consecutive year of improvement. While it's better than the recent high of 13.4 percent in 2009, it remains above the pre-recession levels of about 7 percent and is among the nation's highest unemployment rates.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent last month, its lowest point since October 2008.

Michigan's total employment averaged nearly 4.3 million in 2013, while unemployment averaged 408,000. Since December 2012, employment in Michigan grew by 73,000, or 1.7 percent, while unemployment fell by 20,000, or 4.8 percent.

The labor force, which counts the number of people working or looking for a job, rose by 54,000, or 1.2 percent over the year, despite monthly declines since October 2013. That was the first annual labor force growth since 2006, according to Michael Williams, acting director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

The number of payroll jobs in Michigan increased by 64,000, or 1.6 percent, since December 2012. The largest gain of 21,000 was in professional and business services, while the manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities sectors also saw significant growth.

University of Michigan economist George Fulton projects Michigan's unemployment rate will improve to 8.2 percent in 2014, 7.3 percent in 2015 and 6.4 percent in 2016. Read more about Michigan economic forecasts here.

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