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February Michigan jobless rates decline in all regions

LANSING, MI--   Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell in all 17 of Michigan’s regional labor market areas during February, according to data released today from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Labor force levels declined for the second consecutive month in most Michigan regions,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Payroll jobs rose in all Michigan metro areas in February, as significant recalls of workers occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector.”

Michigan regional jobless rates in February ranged from 4.2 to 8.6 percent. Rate decreases were from 0.6 to 1.6 percentage points with a median decline of one full percentage point. The Northeast Lower Michigan region demonstrated the most pronounced over-the-month rate cut.

Unemployment rates advance over year

Jobless rates remained higher since February 2020 in all 17 Michigan labor markets with a median gain of 2.2 percentage points. The largest over-the-year rate advance was observed in the Muskegon metropolitan statistical area (MSA), with a jobless rate increase of 3.8 percentage points.  

Total employment mixed over month, down over year

Employment levels in February edged up in nine Michigan regions. Increases ranged from 0.1 to 1.6 percent with a median hike of 0.6 percent. Northwest Lower Michigan led the way with the largest percent gain in monthly employment. Total employment fell in five regions in February, with the largest reduction seen in the Detroit MSA. The Battle Creek and Saginaw metro areas both had no employment change over the month.  

All major Michigan regions registered employment cuts over the year with a median decrease of 6.4 percent. The largest percent over-the-year employment reduction was in the Lansing metro region.

Regional labor force levels decline again in February

Workforce levels fell in most Michigan labor market areas for the second straight month. Labor force reductions ranged from 0.2 to 2.5 percent with a median decrease of 1.1 percent. The Detroit MSA exhibited the largest percent workforce decline over the month. The labor force in Ann Arbor edged up by 0.2 percent in February, and the Lansing MSA and Northwest Lower Michigan regional workforce levels were little changed.

Workforce levels dropped over the year in all 17 Michigan regions. Labor force declines ranged from 1.4 to 7.6 percent with a notable median cut of 3.6 percent.

Payroll employment rebounds with recalls in leisure and hospitality

The monthly survey of employers indicated that not seasonally adjusted Michigan nonfarm jobs advanced in February by 85,000, or 2.1 percent. This was the highest job gain since June 2020. These job additions largely reflected recalls of previously laid off workers in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector (+56,000).

Payroll employment moved up in all 14 Michigan metro regions over the month. Job increases ranged from 0.3 to 2.7 percent with a median addition of 1.6 percent. The largest over-the-month percent nonfarm job advance occurred in the Lansing metro area.  

Since February 2020, statewide jobs plunged by 336,000, or 7.6 percent, reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. The largest numerical over-the-year industry job cuts occurred in the leisure and hospitality (-99,000) and education and health services (-47,000) sectors. All 14 Michigan metro areas exhibited payroll job reductions over the year, led by the Lansing MSA (-9.5 percent).

County jobless rates down over month, up over year

All 83 Michigan counties exhibited jobless rate reductions in February, led by Alger County (-2.6 percentage points). Since February 2020, 76 Michigan counties recorded jobless rate increases, led by Muskegon County (+3.8 percentage points).

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

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.