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Whitmer Hails Jobless Numbers; SBAM Reports Its Members Feeling Squeezed

January 25, 2022

Courtesy MIRS News for the SBAM Watchdog

Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.9% in November to 5.6% in December, which is still 1.7 percentage points above the national rate of 3.9%, according to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Michigan’s December 2021 jobless rate is still nearly two percentage points above the pre-pandemic February 2020 rate. The number of those in Michigan who are unemployed rose by 81,000 over that period of time.

For the calendar year of 2021, though, the numbers are positive. Unemployment dropped 33.8% from beginning to end, although that was outpaced by a sharp 41.4% reduction in unemployed nationwide, the DTMB reported.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer heralded Thursday’s report by latching on to the 11,000 new jobs reported in December and the 220,000 jobs reported since December 2020.

“Michigan’s economy is strong and getting stronger every day,” she said.

The economy may be stronger, but small businesses still have some “prevalent issues” that “jeopardize their success,” according to Small Business Association of Michigan’s (SBAM) interpretation of its poll results from last week.

A Jan. 10-17 survey of 600 Michigan small businesses found that 56% are facing workforce shortages, 56% are feeling the squeeze of inflation and 59% are reporting supply chain disruptions.

An 87% majority said they are experiencing higher costs than before the pandemic, including 43% who report costs are substantially higher.

“Small business owners continue to face one obstacle after another, nearly two years after the onset of the pandemic,” said SBAM President and CEO Brian Calley. “After dealing with closures and restrictions, there is a new set of significant challenges small business owners face.”

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