Dec. jobless rate declines slightlyPublished 10:09am Thursday, January 21, 2010
Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December edged downward by one-tenth of a percentage point to 14.6 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG).
The rate decline reflected fewer persons in the job market seeking employment.
Both total employment (-20,000) and unemployment (-11,000) decreased, resulting in a statewide labor force decline of 31,000 over the month.
The U.S. unemployment rate in December was unchanged from November’s 10 percent.
The state’s jobless rate in December 2009 was 4.4 percentage points above the December 2008 rate of 10.2 percent.
The national jobless rate rose by 2.6 percentage points over this period.
“Michigan’s labor market situation in 2009 can be seen in two different perspectives” said Rick Waclawek, director of DELEG’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The first half of the year was marked by a severe deterioration of the labor market due to the national recession and restructuring in the auto industry, while unemployment levels stabilized in the second half of 2009.”
Modest recalls of laid-off auto workers and a slower pace of job loss in the service sector helped to stabilize the state jobless rate in the second half of 2009.
December marked the third consecutive month of minor jobless rate declines in Michigan.
Since September, the state’s rate decreased by seven-tenths of a percentage point.
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser commented, “Clearly the holidays brought some seasonal cheer with seasonal jobs, but seasonal jobs don’t fix the fundamental problem in Michigan.
“Failed Democrat policies and increased taxes have hurt Michigan and driven job providers away. We cannot tax our way to prosperity. We must address the structural deficit through reforms. We must Fix Michigan.”
Since the onset of the national recession in December 2007, unemployment rates for both Michigan and the U.S. have doubled.
The national unemployment rate in December 2007 was 5 percent, while Michigan’s rate was 7.3 percent that month.
Michigan’s labor force total of 4,813,000 in December was the lowest level reported in 2009, and has fallen by 72,000 or 1.5 percent since December 2008.
Since December 2008, unemployment in Michigan increased by 205,000 or 41.3 percent.
Unemployment nationally rose by 3,867,000 or 33.9 percent in the same period.