Michigan's unemployment rate unchanged at 4.5%

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was unchanged, at 4.5%, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“As we move forward and work to continue our comeback, it’s encouraging to see that Michigan’s unemployment rate remains below the national average and more than 10 points lower than its peak in the summer of 2009," Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement.  "Our job creators have added more than 450,000 private-sector jobs in five and a half years, and there are nearly 100,000 jobs available today in Michigan on mitalent.org. That reminds us of how far we’ve come but how much work we still have to do.

“We need to close the skills gap, better connect Michiganders with existing jobs and ensure that our residents are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in the high-tech careers of the 21st Century. We will continue our efforts to strengthen our workforce and create more opportunities for all Michiganders.”

Despite the rate staying the same over July's figure, the number of unemployed people in Michigan actually edged upward slightly in August by 2,000.

“Michigan’s overall labor market situation in August was stable. Payroll jobs declined statewide in August; however, this was only the second monthly job reduction recorded in 2016,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The state’s labor market in 2016 continues to display solid improvement over 2015.”

The U.S. jobless rate was also unchanged, but at a slightly higher 4.9% in August.

Michigan’s average number of unemployed people in 2016 stands at 227,000, which is the lowest level in the state since early 2001, state officials said. However, the state's workforce remains much smaller today. The current state labor force and employment levels are about 360,000 below 2001 levels.

Total employment in Michigan this year declined somewhat over the summer months; however, overall employment in the state has shown solid gains in 2016, officials said.

(2016 © Detroit Free Press)


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