Regional jobless rates decline in Michigan during July


Sept. 15, 2021
Caleb Buhs, or 517-282-6018


LANSING, Mich. -- Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell in 15 of Michigan's 17 major labor market areas in July, according to data released today from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

"Michigan's regional labor markets continued to remain steady over the month," said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "July was characterized by minimal changes in private payroll job levels, seasonal job reductions in local schools, and modest declines in unemployment rates in most major Michigan regions."

Michigan regional jobless rate reductions ranged from 0.1 to 0.5 percentage points, with a median decrease of a third of a percentage point. Both the Northeast and Northwest Lower Michigan regions exhibited the largest rate decline of 0.5 percentage points. The Monroe metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was the only region with a rate increase over the month (+0.7 percentage points), largely due to auto-related layoffs in the surrounding region. The Ann Arbor MSA jobless rate remained unchanged since June.

Regional unemployment rates decline over year

Unemployment rates receded in all 17 Michigan labor market areas since July 2020.  Rate declines ranged from 1.0 to 7.1 percentage points, with a median decrease of 2.5 percentage points.

Regional jobless rates remained above July 2019 levels. Fourteen Michigan labor market areas registered unemployment gains since July 2019, with a median increase of 0.8 percentage points.

Total employment advances over month and year

Employment rose in 11 regional areas during July. Advances ranged from 0.2 to 3.7 percent, with a median gain of 0.4 percent. The largest over-the-month employment advance occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region. Total employment edged down in four regions over the month and remained unchanged in the Muskegon and Saginaw metro areas. 

Total employment moved up over the year in all 17 regions, with a median increase of 1.6 percent. The largest over-the-year employment gain was observed in the Detroit metro region.

Despite employment increases over the year, regional employment remained below July 2019 levels, with a median decrease of 4.9 percent over the two-year period. The largest reduction occurred in the Muskegon region.   

Workforce levels mixed over month, down over year

Regional labor force levels advanced in nine Michigan areas during July by a median of 0.4 percent. The most pronounced monthly percent gain was a seasonal tourism-related labor force rise in Northwest Lower Michigan. Workforce levels fell in seven regions over the month, led by the Jackson MSA. The Bay City metro area labor force was unchanged in July.

Thirteen Michigan regions exhibited workforce reductions over the year, with a median decline of 1.1 percent. The largest labor force cut since July 2020 occurred in the Muskegon MSA (-3.3 percent).

Payroll job counts down seasonally in July

The monthly survey of employers indicated that not seasonally adjusted Michigan total nonfarm jobs moved down during July by 32,000, or 0.8 percent, which was a smaller reduction than normal in July. The vast majority of this monthly drop was due to a seasonal job reduction in the government sector (-29,000), as staff cuts occurred with the end of the school year at local school districts. Private sector jobs were little changed in July in many Michigan metro areas.

Nonfarm jobs receded in all 14 metro areas during July with a median decrease of 1.2 percent. Local schools cut jobs seasonally in July. The motor vehicle manufacturing sector in the Detroit metro area had a temporary layoff of 7,000 jobs due to the continuing impact of the nationwide shortage of semiconductors. The largest percentage job decline occurred in the Monroe MSA (-2.1 percent).

Statewide payroll employment rose by 199,000, or 5.0 percent, over the year. All 14 metro regions exhibited nonfarm job advances since July 2020, with a median increase of 4.1 percent.  

County unemployment rates down over month and year

Seventy-seven Michigan counties displayed jobless rate reductions in July. Three counties had rate advances over the month, and three county rates remained unchanged. Over the year, all 83 counties exhibited unemployment rate declines.   

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


Note: Data in this release is not seasonally adjusted. As a result, employment and unemployment trends may differ from previously released Michigan seasonally adjusted data.

A breakdown of not seasonally adjusted July workforce estimates for Michigan and its 17 major labor market areas follows, along with a ranking of county jobless rates for July.

Note to editors: Please ensure that the source for state unemployment rates reads "Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget."