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Southwest Michigan July Jobless Rates Continue to Fall

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Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates declined in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas during July 2020, according to data released from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). Michigan regions had particularly sharp July changes in unemployment levels, which were difficult to evaluate. The impact of the pandemic on employment trends can be better seen by a comparison of data for May through July 2020 with pre-pandemic values in February 2020. Ann Arbor, Midland, Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Lansing-East Lansing, and Kalamazoo-Portage continue to round out the top five performing MSAs.

“Michigan regional jobless rates were down in July, although total employment levels showed only modest change in many regions in July,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Industry jobs also edged up over the month as the number of unemployed workers in tourism-related businesses continued to moderate.”

Where the Jobs Are

Manufacturing continues to drive Michigan’s recovery. The state’s net change of +4.900 jobs last month put it ahead of all others with a 1.1 percent increase of jobs created in that sector ahead of California, Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Get the full breakdown in Localintel’s July 2020 update on “Manufacturing Employment Trends in Michigan Metro Areas.”

As for what’s on “Michigan’s Hot 50” job outlook through 2028, the state’s DTMB has put out its report on well, what jobs will be “hot” and what will not. From job openings to hourly wage ranges, the report gives the details on high-demand, high-wage careers. Find out if your chosen career path made the list.

The Local Story: Kalamazoo County Reigns With Lowest Jobless Rate

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment for the seven-county southwest Michigan region sits at 9.4 percent, compared to 12.9 percent as of June. Jobless rates range from 8.7 percent in Kalamazoo County to 10.9 percent in Calhoun County, yet Calhoun holds the title for the most pronounced jobless rate reduction of 4.3 percentage points this period. Visit the DTMB’s site to see rankings by county, county labor force numbers, and an overall snapshot of Michigan’s employment.

Download the full report.

2020
JULY JUNE MAY
COUNTY Labor Force Employment Unemployment Jobless Rate Jobless Rate Jobless Rate
Berrien 76,450 68,876 7,574 9.9% 13.7% 18.6%
Branch 19,894 18,143 1,751 8.8% 12.2% 19.2%
Calhoun 62,044 55,297 6,747 10.9% 15.2% 22.0%
Cass 24,646 22,180 2,466 10.0% 13.0% 16.8%
Kalamazoo 138,432 123,603 11,829 8.7% 11.6% 15.3%
St. Joseph 29,470 26,726 2,744 9.3% 13.0% 19.5%
Van Buren 35,859 32,713 3,146 8.8% 12.4% 16.8%
Southwest Michigan 386,795 347,538 36,257 9.4% 12.9% 17.8%
AREAS
Michigan 4,872,000 4,409,000 463,000 9.5% 14.9% 23.8%
USA 161,374,000 144,492,000 16,882,000 10.5% 11.2% 13.0%
Source: Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), July 2020. Notes: All estimates are preliminary. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

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