Regional Jobless Rates Decline in Michigan During July


Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell in 15 of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in July 2021, according to data released 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. Here in Southwest Michigan, the story was the same. Van Buren County exhibited the largest rate decline of 0.5 percentage points, with St. Joseph not far behind at 0.4 points. The region’s largest employing counties of Kalamazoo, Berrien, and Calhoun realized drops of 0.3, 0.2, and 0.1 respectively. Branch County declined 0.3 percentage points, while Cass County’s jobless rate fell 0.2 points.

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 July 2021 was 5.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted, which represents a 4.8 percentage point drop from the previous year and a 0.4 percentage point increase from the previous month.

The number of unemployed persons in the U.S. decreased by 662,000 persons from July 2021 (9,221,000 unemployed persons) to June 2021 (9,883,000 unemployed persons). The total civilian labor force grew over the month by 650,000 persons from 162,167,000 in June 2021 to 162,817,000 in July 2021. As of July 2021, 153,596,000 persons were employed.

Here in Michigan
The state of Michigan posted a not seasonally adjusted July 2021 unemployment rate of 5.0 percent, 0.7 percentage points below the national average. This represents a 0.3 percentage point decrease from June 2021’s rate of 5.3 percent. Back in July 2020, unemployment in Michigan stood at 9.5 percent. For Michigan MSAs, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn had the lowest unemployment rate in July at 4.5 percent, followed by Grand Rapids-Wyoming and Midland, both at 4.6 percent. Ann Arbor’s rate of 4.7 percent was not far behind, with Kalamazoo-Portage MSA at 5.2 percent rounding out the state’s top five MSAs with the lowest unemployment.

Across the state, the number of unemployed persons in decreased by 9,000 persons from July 2021 (242,000 unemployed persons) to June 2021 (251,000 unemployed persons). The total civilian labor force grew over the month by 52,000 persons from 4,753,000 in June 2021 to 4,805,000 in July 2021. As of July 2021, 4,563,000 persons were employed in Michigan.

County by County: Regional Unemployment Declines to 5.5 Percent in July
When breaking the numbers down by county, the combined, not seasonally adjusted, July 2021 jobless rate of 5.5 percent for the seven-county Southwest Michigan region was down 0.2 percentage points from June 2021. A year ago, in July 2020, the rate was 9.4 percent. Among regional counties, Cass and Branch posted the lowest seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in July 2021 at 4.8 percent, followed by Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties with rates of 5.1 percent. Berrien and Van Buren also tied at 5.6 percent. Calhoun County’s jobless rate was posted at 6.6 percent.

The region recorded a total labor force of 370,281 in July 2021, representing a 694-person expansion from the 369,587-person labor force in June 2021. Employed persons grew by 1,581 over the month from 348,444 in June 2021 to 350,025 in July 2021. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 887 over the month from 21,143 in June 2021 to 20,256 in July 2021.

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

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