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News & Press: Economic News

Regional Unemployment Rates Decline Seasonally in August

Friday, October 10, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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September 25, 2014 – Seasonally unadjusted jobless rates contracted in both the Lansing and Ann Arbor metro areas in August, following seasonal reductions in the state labor force, as temporary and summer job seekers, most notably high school and college students, began exiting the summer job market. Additionally, some seasonal employment gains that occurred in professional and business services, and manufacturing, helped push the areas’ jobless rates down. Over the year, unemployment rates fell region-wide while private payroll jobs were significantly higher.

Metro Area Workforce Totals Were Generally Lower in August, While Employment Moved Up.

Labor force levels in the Ann Arbor and Lansing metro areas moved down in August, contracting by -1.2 percent and -0.7 percent, respectively. Total employment increased in both metro areas, advancing by 0.6 percent in Ann Arbor and 1.6 percent in Lansing in August but remained essentially flat between the spring (March-May 2014) and summer (June-August 2014) months. Total employment also moved up in four out of the five region’s smaller labor market areas (LMAs) with gains that ranged from 0.9 percent in Gratiot to 2.3 percent in Lenawee. Livingston County reported a -0.2 percent employment drop in August. County labor force levels contracted in all five LMAs over the month with decreases ranging from -0.3 percent in Lenawee to -2.1 percent in Livingston.

Through the first eight months of 2014 (January-August), labor force levels in both metro areas rose above the comparable January-August 2013 levels, up by 1.6 percent in the Lansing MSA and +1.2 percent in Ann Arbor. Metro area total employment levels also advanced over this same period, up by 3.2 percent in Lansing and by 2.2 percent in Ann Arbor. All of the smaller labor market areas experienced growth in total employment that ranged from 1.0 percent in Livingston County to 2.0 percent in Gratiot County. These gains compare to the 2.0 percent eight month average growth in total employment statewide.

Unemployment Rates Contract Seasonally Across the Region in August

August jobless rates moved down in the Ann Arbor (-1.7 percentage points) and Lansing (-2.1 percentage points) MSAs to 4.6 and 5.5 percent, respectively. While these declines were somewhat stronger than typical for August, the jobless rates in these metro areas have shown little change from the spring of 2014 (March-May) to the summer 2014 (June-August). The summer months have shown a small jobless rate rise in Ann Arbor (+0.4 percentage points) and Lansing (+0.2 percentage points). August jobless rates also fell in the five smaller LMAs with the largest decline reported in Clare County (-2.9 percentage points), while the smallest was recorded in Livingston County (-1.7 percentage points). Comparatively, Michigan’s unemployment rate moved down by -1.9 percentage points during the month to 6.7 percent.

A comparison of January through August 2014 unemployment rate averages to the same period in 2013 shows improvement in the region, with a jobless rate average decline of -1.5 percentage points in the Lansing MSA and -0.9 percentage points in the Ann Arbor MSA. The percent jobless also dropped in all the region’s smaller LMAs and ranged from -0.3 percentage points in Clare County to -1.9 percentage points in Gratiot County. These reductions compared to a -1.4 percentage point drop in the statewide rate during this period.

Lansing-East Lansing Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total nonfarm payroll jobs advanced by 1,400 during August, or by 0.6 percent. Job increases were observed in both the Service-providing (+1,000) and Goods producing (+400) sectors. Most of the job additions in the Service-providing sector reflected typical seasonal hikes in Leisure and hospitality services and Trade transportation and utilities. Job recalls over the month also occurred in Manufacturing. Over the year, total payroll employment rose by 2.6 percent on broad-based gains in both the Service-providing (+4,400) and Goods-producing (+1,100) industry groups.

• Job gains in Leisure and hospitality services (+500), Trade, transportation and utilities (+400) as well as in Manufacturing (+300) were the main reason for employment gains during the month. Employment declines were recorded only in the Education and health services (-100) sector in August. Typically, education-related jobs in this sector will rebound in September.

• Job advances in August in the Manufacturing sector largely reflected recalls of workers in the auto and auto supply sector, following temporary retooling related layoffs in July.

• Modest job gains were recorded also in Professional and business services (+100), Financial activities (+100) as well as Construction (+100). Employment levels were unchanged in the remaining sectors during August.

• Since August 2013, total nonfarm payrolls rose in Lansing by 5,500 jobs, or 2.6 percent. Lansing ranks fourth among Michigan metro areas in the rate of job growth over the past year. These job gains occurred in most broad industries. The largest employment advances were recorded in Leisure and hospitality services (+1,200), Trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,100) Manufacturing (+1,100), Government (+900) and Professional and business services (+800). Employment in Financial activities, Construction and Other services remained unchanged.

Click to download the entire August 2014 report.  

Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget

Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives

Area Labor Market Analysis—Ann Arbor, Lansing, Mid-Michigan: August 2014


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