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Southwest Michigan Jobless Rates Move Down in September

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Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates declined in all 17 Michigan major labor market areas during September 2020, according to data released from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). “Michigan regional jobless rates decreased in September, but the reductions primarily were due to fewer persons in the state labor market,” said Wayne Rourke, acting director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Total nonfarm jobs advanced over the month in most metro regions.” Despite the monthly jobless rate cuts, total employment fell in 16 of the major labor market areas in September, with the Detroit metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as the only region to register a minor employment gain (+0.2) over the month.

September jobless rates ranged from 6.0 to 10.2 percent by MSA. The Ann Arbor MSA held the top spot with the lowest jobless rate at 6.0 percent, with Kalamazoo-Portage tied with Lansing-East Lansing for fourth at 6.7 percent. Flint (9.4), Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (9.8), and Muskegon (10.2) struggled at the bottom of the state’s MSA groupings.

The Local Story: Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties Post 6.7 Jobless Rates

Seasonally unadjusted September 2020 unemployment for the seven-county southwest Michigan region sits at 7.3 percent, compared to 8.3 percent as of August 2020 and 9.4 percent in July 2020. Jobless rates range from 6.7 percent in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties to 8.6 percent in Calhoun County. Visit the DTMB’s site to see rankings by county, county labor force numbers, and an overall snapshot of Michigan’s employment.

Get the full report.

By the Numbers

2020
SEPTEMBER AUGUST JULY
COUNTY Labor Force Employment Unemployment Jobless Rate Jobless Rate Jobless Rate
Berrien 74,417 68,772 5,645 7.6% 8.7% 9.9%
Branch 19,548 18,182 1,366 7.0% 7.6% 8.8%
Calhoun 61,230 55,957 5,273 8.6% 9.8% 10.9%
Cass 24,141 22,355 1,786 7.4% 8.2% 10.0%
Kalamazoo 135,814 126,741 9,073 6.7% 7.7% 8.7%
St. Joseph 28,955 26,837 2,118 7.3% 8.2% 9.3%
Van Buren 35,729 33,324 2,405 6.7% 7.8% 8.8%
Southwest Michigan 379,834 352,168 27,666 7.3% 8.3% 9.4%
AREAS
Michigan 4,878,000 4,479,000 399,000 8.2% 8.9% 9.5%
USA 160,073,000 147,796,000 12,277,000 7.7% 8.5% 10.5%

Source: Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), September 2020.
Notes: All estimates are preliminary. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

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