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Annual Rate Falls for Seventh Consecutive Year


January 20, 2017

Lansing – Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December edged up over the month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.0 percent, according to data released on Jan. 19 by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget . The state’s workforce rose by 14,000 over the month as both total employment (+9,000) and the number of unemployed (+5,000) increased.


The Michigan jobless rate in December 2016 was one-tenth of a percentage point below the state’s December 2015 rate of 5.1 percent. The national jobless rate decreased by three-tenths of a percentage point over this period. The state’s December unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate. The U.S. jobless rate rose slightly by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent in December.


“Michigan’s modest jobless rate hike in December reflected continued entry into the state’s workforce. The second half of the year was marked by robust labor force expansion, with 2016 displaying the strongest workforce growth rate for the state since 1999,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “In 2016, payroll jobs rose in the state for the sixth consecutive year while Michigan’s unemployment rate continued a downward trend, falling for the seventh year in a row.”

Monthly Labor Force Trends & Highlights


—  Michigan’s December jobless rate of 5.0 percent was the highest recorded for the state in 2016. However, monthly jobless rates in 2016 were in a narrow range from 4.5 to 5.0 percent.


— The minor jobless rate hike in December marked the fourth consecutive monthly advance. Since the August rate of 4.5 percent, Michigan’s unemployment rate increased by a half percentage point.


— During the four months of unemployment rate increases in the state, the number of unemployed advanced by 29,000. However, this was primarily due to the large influx of workers entering the state’s labor force. From August to December 2016, Michigan’s labor force jumped by 82,000 or 1.7 percent. Total employment rose by 54,000 or 1.2 percent over this period.

Michigan’s 2016 Preliminary Annual Average Labor Force Data

Michigan’s preliminary annual average unemployment rate in 2016 was 4.8 percent, which was slightly below the 4.9 percent national annual rate. Total employment in Michigan averaged 4,612,000 in 2016, while the number of unemployed in the state averaged 231,000. The state’s annual average labor force level was 4,843,000.

Annual Average Trends and Highlights

  • Michigan’s preliminary 2016 annual average unemployment rate of 4.8 percent declined by 0.6 of a percentage point from the 2015 annual rate of 5.4 percent


  • 2016 marked the seventh consecutive year of annual unemployment rate reductions in Michigan. The state’s rate fell by 8.9 percentage points since the recent annual high of 13.7 percent recorded in 2009.

  • Michigan’s 2016 annual rate was the fifth lowest recorded for the state since the official series began in 1976, and the lowest annual rate since the 3.6 percent posted in 2000.

  •  From annual 2015 to annual 2016, the number of unemployed in Michigan dropped by 27,000 or 10.4 percent. The U.S. as a whole registered a 6.6 percent reduction over this period. Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, the number of unemployed in Michigan fell by 439,000 or 66 percent.

  • The state’s workforce expanded by 92,000 or 1.9 percent in 2016 after remaining essentially flat from 2014 to 2015. 2016 was only the third year of annual labor force growth in Michigan since 2006.

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