Michigan’s Unemployment Rates Drop Once Again in March

Data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget has revealed that unemployment rates in Michigan dropped by three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.4% last month.

In addition to a drop in unemployment rates, the state experienced an employment increase of 29,000 and an unemployment decrease of 14,000, leading to a monthly labor force gain of about 15,000 in March.

“The Michigan labor market has been positive this year,” said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Michigan’s jobless rate has averaged 4.7 percent so far in 2022, and the state has only recorded a lower annual rate twice in recent decades, the periods from 1997 to 2000 and 2017 to 2019.”

Michigan’s jobless rate also dropped by about two full percentage points since last June, and by 0.5 percentage points over the last two months.

However, over the last three months, the state’s total employment increased by 62,000. Michigan’s first 2022 quarter jobless rate of 4.7% was also down by half of a percentage point from the previous quarter, and the statewide unemployment rate of 4.4% stayed 0.6 percentage points above the Feb. 2020 pre-pandemic rate of 3.8%.

On the other hand, the state’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs increased by 15,000 (0.3%) last month, resulting in a statewide total of 4,330,000 jobs.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget says job change was small in several Michigan industries last month, but a large increase in jobs happened in the state’s manufacturing sector (+8,000) because of a recall of auto workers from temporary layoffs.

The following are industry employment trends and highlights from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget:

  • Jobs rose in March in Michigan for the 11th consecutive month.
  • Job gains in the state have ranged from 12,000 to 17,000 for five consecutive months.
  • Most major industry sectors had employment hikes over the year, led by leisure and hospitality (+61,000).
  • The state’s education and health services sector was the only major industry with a minor over-the-year job reduction (-2,000).
  • Michigan’s average job count in the first quarter 2022 was about 43,000 above the prior quarter. This increase was in line with the quarterly gains registered in 2021.
  • Michigan total nonfarm jobs advanced by 174,000, or 4.2 percent, over the year. However, payroll employment remained 122,000, or 2.7 percent, below the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a statement on Michigan’s growing economy and low unemployment:

“We’re getting things done in Michigan. Our hardworking people, innovative small businesses, and resilient communities continue to thrive as we stay focused on growing our economy. For 11 straight months, our economy has added jobs, and in March 2022, unemployment hit a pandemic-low of 4.4%. The last time Michigan had a 4.4% unemployment rate was in 2018.

Our strong jobs numbers prove that Michiganders are getting back to work at a rapid clip, and we will continue working together to lower costs, pass a balanced, bipartisan budget, and make investments in the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families, communities, and small businesses.

We will keep working to lower costs for families, especially in light of rising prices due to the invasion of Ukraine and ongoing supply chain challenges caused by the effects of the pandemic. I announced the More for MI Money Plan to repeal the retirement tax to save half a million Michiganders $1,000 a year and triple the tax credit for working families to put a combined $3,000 in the pockets of 730,000 families. Additionally, $400 auto insurance refund checks are per vehicle are going out the door to every insured Michigan driver putting money in their pockets.

Our future is bright, and I will continue working with anyone to get things done on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families. Let’s stay focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for families.”

For more information on Michigan’s unemployment levels for March, click here.