Jobless rates down in state

Published 11:13 am Monday, December 27, 2004

By Staff
LANSING - Since November 2003, jobless rates were down in 10 of Michigan's 12 major labor market areas, according to the Michigan Department of Economic Growth.
Many declines were significant, with an average decline of 0.8 of a percentage point.
Three areas, the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the Jackson MSA and the Northeast Lower Michigan Region, displayed unemployment rate drops of a full percentage point or more.
Over the year, the jobless rate in the Ann Arbor MSA was unchanged, while the rate in the Lansing MSA rose by 1.7 percentage points.
The increase in the Lansing region was mainly the result of short-term layoffs in auto-related manufacturing that occurred in the fall of 2004.
Total employment up over year, down over month
From November 2003 to November 2004, total employment increases were registered in nine major areas with solid gains reported in several regions.
Total employment was down over the year in the Lansing, Saginaw-Bay-Midland and Jackson MSAs.
Over the month, seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates increased in all 12 of the state's major labor market areas.
Labor force levels were mixed over the month while employment declined in all areas. Decreases were marginal in Michigan's southern regions, averaging about 0.4 percent.
Employment declines were substantial, but typical in the state's three northernmost labor market areas with the end of the summer tourism season.
The Northwest Lower Michigan Region, the Upper Peninsula and the Northeast Lower Michigan Region, jobless rate hikes ranged from 1.5 to 2.4 percentage points and recorded a combined employment drop of more than 10,000 in November.
Labor force levels mixed over month, up over year
In November, labor force levels decreased slightly in seven areas, increased slightly in four areas and were essentially unchanged in the Ann Arbor MSA. Over the year, labor force levels increased in eight areas and declined in four.
Payroll employment declines
The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan fell in November by 14,000 to total 4,420,000.
Job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality services (-14,000), professional and business services (-9,000), manufacturing (-6,000) and construction (-3,000).
The decreases in leisure and hospitality services, construction and a portion of professional and business services were seasonal and expected.
Somewhat offsetting the payroll employment decreases were seasonal gains in retail trade (+10,000) and government (+6,000).
The increase in retail trade was evident in all of the state's major metropolitan areas as merchants hired additional workers for the holiday season.
Over the year, six of the state's nine major metropolitan areas registered payroll employment declines.
The Detroit, Lansing, and Saginaw-Bay-Midland MSAs reported the largest drops.
Three areas, the Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Benton Harbor MSAs, displayed modest job growth since November 2003.