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June State Unemployment Falls to Lowest Point in 23 Years

July 25, 2023

Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog e-newsletter

The June unemployment rate has reached the fourth lowest point in the state since 1976, and matched the national rate of 3.6% for the second consecutive month, according to data from the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

A MIRS unemployment analysis of rates since 1976, showed the rate was lowest since May 2000, when it was at 3.5%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Our employment rate is the lowest in 23 years,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Whitmer said since the mid-1970s, Michigan’s unemployment rate fell below 4% during periods from 1998-2000, November 2019 to March 2020, and now.

MIRS data shows the 3.6% unemployment mark was also reached in September 1999 and October 1999.

The median unemployment rate for Michigan since 1976 is 7.3%, with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.2% in February 2000 and the highest was April 2020 at 22.6% during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The average unemployment rate for the state was 7.7% in the same period. The highest non-COVID unemployment rate happened in November and December of 1982, when the rate hit 16.6%.

1980 to 1985 had the longest streak of double-digit unemployment numbers, with the lowest streak coming between 1996 and 2001, when the unemployment was below 5%.

In 1998, it fell below 4% for six out of 12 months, with a low of 3.8%. In 1999, it was nine out of 12 months, with a low of 3.4%. In 2000, it was nine out of 12 months with an all-time low of 3.2%.

“Our labor participation rate is up again, meaning more people are working and filling open positions at businesses across the state. Michiganders are rolling up their sleeves, working hard, and bringing home more money to provide for themselves and their families,” Whitmer said.

Employment went up by 26,000 and unemployment went down by 3,000. The labor force went up 23,000 over June and the statewide labor force participation rate increased by two-tenths of a percent to 60.7%.

“Michigan’s labor market continued to remain steady in June with little change in employment and unemployment.  Seasonally adjusted payroll jobs also remained stable over the month,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director of the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics.

Nonfarm employment went up by 2,000 in June. Payroll jobs went up by 24,000 in the second quarter of 2023.

June saw small changes across multiple industries, according to the data.

The trade, transportation and utilities industry saw a decrease of 4,000 jobs, the largest of the industries, in June. Natural resources and mining, retail trade and other services saw slight drops.

Professional and business services rose by 11,000, which was the fourth consecutive month.

Government in Michigan has added 22,000 jobs over the year for the largest over-the-year payroll jobs gain.

Average weekly earnings and hours worked for manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing went up in June.

“Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator and build on our economic momentum,” Whitmer said.

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