Michigan jobless rate edged down in August


Sept 15, 2021
Christyn Herman, hermanc3@michigan.gov or 517-897-6969

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan's seasonally adjusted jobless rate displayed little change in August, edging down by a tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Employment in Michigan increased by 14,000 and unemployment declined by 3,000, resulting in a monthly workforce advance of 11,000.

The national jobless rate moved down by two-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 5.2 percent and was half a percentage point above the Michigan rate. Since August 2020, the national rate fell by 3.2 percentage points, while the statewide rate declined by 3.8 percentage points.  

"Michigan's labor market indicators displayed only minimal change in August," said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "However, total employment and payroll jobs both continued to edge up over the month."  

Monthly and annual labor force trends and highlights

  • Michigan's workforce rose by 0.2 percent in August, which was comparable to the trend nationally (+0.1 percent).
  • Total statewide employment advanced for the sixth consecutive month. Employment increased by 47,000, or 1.1 percent, since December 2020.
  • Michigan unemployment dropped significantly by 45.8 percent over the year, reflecting persons returning to jobs from pandemic-related layoffs. The number of unemployed nationally declined by 38.1 percent since August 2020.

Michigan's August 2021 employment levels remain below pre-pandemic levels

  • Employment in Michigan in August 2021 remained 241,000, or 5.1 percent, below the February 2020 pre-pandemic total.
  • The number of unemployed in the state was 39,000, or 21.3, percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.
  • The August 2021 Michigan jobless rate of 4.7 percent was a full percentage point above the February 2020 rate of 3.7 percent.

Detroit metro area jobless rate decreases during August

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area's (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point during August to 4.1 percent. The Detroit MSA employment total advanced by 8,000, while unemployment inched down by 3,000. The region's workforce rose by 6,000 over the month.

The Detroit MSA unemployment rate declined by 6.5 percentage points over the year. Employment increased by 63,000 since August 2020 as persons were recalled from pandemic-related layoffs.

Michigan payroll jobs inch up modestly in August

The monthly survey of employers indicated that total Michigan nonfarm employment was stable in August, advancing by 5,000, or 0.1 percent, resulting in an August job total of 4,172,000.

Minor job changes occurred in most statewide industries between July and August. The most pronounced over-the-month employment addition occurred in the state's transportation equipment manufacturing sector (+4,000). Recalls and layoffs in this industry continued in August as a result of shortages of semiconductors used in vehicles.

Industry employment trends and highlights

  • Michigan's small percent job gain in August (+0.1 percent) was similar to that exhibited nationally (+0.2 percent).
  • Seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs advanced for the fourth consecutive month.
  • Jobs in Michigan's trade, transportation, and utilities industry rose for the third consecutive month in August. Over the year, sector jobs increased by 26,000, or 3.5 percent.
  • Statewide payroll employment advanced by 129,000, or 3.2 percent, over the year. Michigan nonfarm jobs remained 281,000, or 6.3 percent, below the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.
  • On a numerical basis, the state's leisure and hospitality and professional and business services industries each recorded the largest over-the-year gain in jobs (+36,000).

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