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DTMB Shows Jobless Rates Still Higher Than Pre-Pandemic Numbers

November 23, 2021

Michigan’s October 2021 jobless rates remained higher than those prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, based on Wednesday’s monthly numbers released by the Department of Management and Budget (DTMB).

The state’s October 2021 jobless rate of 6.1% was higher than that of February 2020, which was 3.7% before the COVID-19 pandemic rolled out in its full force. As for the unemployment rate, last month’s was still 57.8% higher than the month before the pandemic.

On the positive side, Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.1% in October — also showing a decrease in the jobless rate from 8.1% to 6.1% over the past year.

“Over the past year, the U.S. jobless rate decreased by 2.3 percentage points, while Michigan’s jobless rate moved down by 2.0 percentage points,” the DTMB press release reads. “Additionally, Michigan’s October payroll job advance was the second-highest monthly total in 2021, as payroll jobs rose by 38,000.”

Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics corrected the state’s September unemployment rate upward by 1.7 percentage points. The bureau is currently set to revise the unemployment rate of January through August of this year, meaning the polished-off numbers will likely be higher than what was initially presented.

However, Scott Powell, the director of the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said the fall in the state’s jobless rate has been substantial “despite the upward revision in September’s unemployment rate.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased by “two-tenths of a percentage point” in October to 4.6%, and the U.S. jobless rate slid down by 2.3 percentage points.

“Unemployment in the state decreased by (2.3%) over the month and by a significant (26%) over the year,” the press release reported. “Michigan’s total employment level was little changed in October, edging up by (.1%), which was similar to the national employment gain of (.2%).”

DTMB also highlighted that the state’s manufacturing, professional and business service sectors experienced the largest gains during October’s .9% hop in payroll jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector had 1.8% more jobs in October and payroll jobs climbed by 3.2% — or 130,000 — over the year as individuals returned to work following COVID-19 pandemic-related layoffs.

However, in contrast to the state’s pre-pandemic levels, there are still 229,000 fewer jobs than what there were before.

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