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Little Change in June for Michigan Regional Jobless Rates

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Not seasonally adjusted jobless rates were largely unchanged in most of Michigan’s 17 labor market areas during June, according to data released from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Michigan major area jobless rates had a minor median decrease of a tenth of a percentage point over the month. The largest rate reductions occurred in the Monroe metropolitan statistical area (MSA) (-0.6 percentage points), the Northeast Lower Michigan region (-0.4 percentage points), and the Upper Peninsula (-0.4 percentage points). The Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Detroit metro areas all recorded minor jobless rate increases in June. “Michigan regional jobless rates displayed little change in June,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “However, both employment levels and nonfarm job counts rose in most metro areas over the month.”

Visit the DTMB’s site to see rankings by county, county labor force numbers, and an overall snapshot of Michigan’s employment or download a summary report here provided by local economic development catalyst Southwest Michigan First.

The National Outlook
The national not seasonally unemployment rate in June 2021 was 6.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, which represents a 5.1 percentage point drop from the previous year and a 0.6 percentage point increase from the previous month. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 164 metropolitan areas and was relatively unchanged in 225. There were nine metropolitan areas that recorded jobless rates below 3.0 percent, and 10 metropolitan areas with jobless rates above 10.0 percent. Year over year, unemployment rates were lower in 386 of the 389 metropolitan areas, and higher in three metropolitan areas. The MSA with the highest unemployment rate in the country for June 2021, not seasonally adjusted, was Yuma, AZ, with a rate of 20.4 percent. The lowest not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was recorded in Logan, UT-ID at 2.4 percent.

Here in Michigan
The state of Michigan posted a not seasonally adjusted June 2021 unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, 0.6 percentage points below the national average. This represents a 0.1 percentage point increase from May 2021’s rate of 5.2 percent. For Michigan MSAs, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn had the lowest unemployment rate in June at 4.4 percent, followed by Ann Arbor at 4.7 percent and both Grand Rapids-Wyoming and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn at 4.8 percent. Muskegon had the highest unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, followed by Flint at 7.5 percent. Three Michigan MSAs had an increase in unemployment rate, seven had an unchanged employment rate, and four had a decreased unemployment rate.

The Regional Labor Market Picture
Here is the data breakdown on the region’s three labor markets which are the Kalamazoo-Portage, MI MSA, Battle Creek, MI MSA, and Niles-Benton Harbor MSA.

  • The Kalamazoo-Portage, MI MSA’s unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in June 2021 was up 0.1 percentage points from its May 2021 rate of 5.4 percent. This is, however, a 4.6 percentage point reduction from the rate a year ago in June 2020, which recorded a rate of 10.1 percent. The MSA had a lower jobless rate than the national average of 5.9 percent, but that rate is 0.2 percentage points above Michigan’s average of 5.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the MSA increased by 192 from May 2021 (8,848 unemployed persons) to June 2021 (9,040 unemployed persons). The total civilian labor force grew over the month by 911 persons from 163,262 in May 2021 to 164,173 in June 2021. Back in June 2020, the total civilian labor force was 171,826. At the height of unemployment effects due to COVID-19 in April 2020, the Kalamazoo-Portage, MI MSA had an unemployment rate of 18.0 percent, with 28,322 unemployed persons and a total civilian labor force of 157,198. Over the course of 14 months to June 2021, the MSA has seen a 12.5 percentage point reduction in its unemployment rate, a reduction in the number of unemployed persons by 19,282, and a gain of 6,975 in total civilian labor force.
  • In June 2021, the Battle Creek, MI MSA posted an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, which was the same rate recorded in May 2021. This is a 5.9 percentage point decrease from a year ago in June 2020, when an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent was recorded. This MSA’s unemployment rate is 0.9 percentage points higher than the national average and 1.5 percentage points above Michigan’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the Battle Creek, MI MSA grew by 49 from May 2021 (4,093 unemployed persons) to June 2021 (4,142 unemployed persons). The MSA’s total civilian labor force contracted by one person from 60,499 in May 2021 to 60,498 in June 2021. The total civilian labor force was 64,656 in June 2020. At the height of the unemployment effects due to COVID-19 in April 2020, the Battle Creek, MI MSA had an unemployment rate of 24.6 percent, with 14,884 unemployed persons and a total civilian labor force of 60,383. Over the course of 14 months to June 2021, the MSA has seen a 17.8 percentage point reduction in the unemployment rate, a drop in the number of unemployed persons by 10,742, and an increase of 115 in total civilian labor force.
  • The Niles-Benton Harbor, MI MSA’s unemployment rate of 5.7 percent for June 2021 was also equal to the unemployment rate recorded in May 2021. This is a 6.0 percentage point decrease from a year ago in June 2020, when unemployment was recorded at 11.7 percent. The MSA’s unemployment rate is 0.2 percentage points lower than the national average and is 0.4 percentage points above Michigan’s rate of 5.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the MSA dropped by 58 from May 2021 (4,117 unemployed persons) to June 2021 (4,175 unemployed persons), while its total civilian labor force grew over the month by 1,191 persons from 71,627 in May 2021 to 72,818 in June 2021. The total civilian labor force was 76,605 in June 2020. At the height of the unemployment effects due to COVID-19 in April 2020, this MSA had an unemployment rate of 20.0 percent, with 14,107 unemployed persons and a total civilian labor force of 70,427. Over the course of 14 months to June 2021, the Niles-Benton Harbor, MI MSA has seen a 14.3 percentage point reduction in the unemployment rate, a reduction in number of unemployed persons by 9,932, and a gain of 2,391 in total civilian labor force.

County by County: Regional Unemployment Holds at 5.7 Percent in June
When breaking the numbers down by county, the combined, not seasonally adjusted, June 2021 jobless rate of 5.7 percent for the seven-county Southwest Michigan region was unchanged from May 2021. Among regional counties, Cass posted the lowest seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in June 2021 at 5.0 percent, followed by Branch County with a rate of 5.1 percent, and Kalamazoo County with a rate of 5.4 percent. Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, and Cass counties all had unchanged rates month-over-month. Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties had an increase in rate by 0.1 percentage point, and St. Joseph county reduced its rate by 0.1 percentage point.

The region recorded a total labor force of 369,587 in June 2021, representing a 2,585-person expansion from the 367,002-person labor force in May 2021. Employed persons also grew by 2,264 over the month from 346,180 in May 2021 to 348,444 in June 2021. The number of unemployed persons grew by 321 over the month from 20,822 in May 2021 to 21,143 in June 2021.

Source: Michigan DTMB: Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), June 2021. Notes: All estimates are preliminary. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

 

 

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