Michigan unemployment rate decreases in July

August 18, 2021
Caleb Buhs, buhsc@michigan.gov or 517-282-6018

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan's seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.8 percent in July, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Statewide total employment inched up by 4,000, while the number of unemployed decreased by 8,000, resulting in a minimal workforce reduction of 4,000 since June.  

The U.S. unemployment rate fell significantly by half a percentage point between June and July to 5.4 percent. Michigan's July unemployment rate was 0.6 percentage points below the national rate. Over the year, the U.S. rate receded by 4.8 percentage points, while the statewide rate decreased by 4.2 percentage points.

"Michigan's labor market continued to recover during July," said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "The unemployment rate moved to the lowest level since March 2020, and the state recorded the largest monthly payroll job gain since February 2021."

Monthly and annual labor force trends and highlights

  • Michigan's employment level increased for the fifth consecutive month. Employment has advanced by 36,000 since February.
  • Michigan's total number of unemployed fell by 3.4 percent in July, a decrease less than half of what was recorded nationwide (-8.2 percent).
  • Over the year, statewide employment edged up by 2.0 percent, while the U.S. employment total advanced by 6.2 percent.

Michigan's July 2021 jobless rate remains above pre-pandemic levels

  • Despite steady advances so far in 2021, Michigan's employment count in July remained 256,000, or 5.4 percent, below the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.
  • Unemployment in Michigan was 43,000, or 23.2 percent, above the February 2020 level.
  • The July 2021 jobless rate of 4.8 percent was 1.1 percentage points above the pre-pandemic February 2020 rate.

Detroit metro area jobless rate edged down in July

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area's (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point to 4.3 percent during July. Employment inched up by 3,000, while unemployment moved down by 3,000. The Detroit MSA workforce level was essentially unchanged in July.  

The Detroit region jobless rate dropped significantly by 6.8 percentage points since July 2020, as workers were recalled to jobs from pandemic-related layoffs. Employment advanced by 70,000, and the number of regional unemployed dropped sharply by 148,000. The Detroit MSA labor force remained 80,000 below year-ago levels.

Nonfarm jobs increase in most major industries in July

The monthly survey of employers indicated that total nonfarm jobs in Michigan rose in July by 31,000, or 0.8 percent, the largest monthly job gain since February. Payroll employment levels in Michigan were 4,166,000 during July.

Most major statewide industries exhibited job additions during July. The largest job advance occurred in the leisure and hospitality industry, with employment up by 12,000 in July. The only industry with a noticeable job cut in July was the auto sector, which was down by 6,000 jobs due to layoffs related to the nationwide shortage of semiconductors.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • Total nonfarm jobs rose by 182,000, or 4.6 percent, over the year. However, payroll jobs during July 2021 remained 287,000 below the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.
  • The statewide manufacturing and financial activities industries registered minor payroll employment reductions over the month.
  • Over the year, Michigan's leisure and hospitality sector had the largest industry job gain, advancing by 46,000 since July 2020.
  • The second largest numeric employment increase over the year occurred in the professional and business services sector (+40,000).

For more detailed information, including data tables, view the full release.