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News & Press: Economic News

Jobless Rates Edge Higher as Labor Force Gains Outpace Employment

Monday, April 7, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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April 3rd, 2014 – Although area employment levels rose seasonally as local schools and colleges rebounded from holiday-related job reductions, rising labor force numbers pushed jobless rates higher over the month. Manufacturing jobs rose slightly in regional metro areas, while private service-providing industry sectors were mixed in February. Since February 2013, total employment and nonfarm payroll jobs were higher overall, and jobless rates fell. However, 2013 annual unemployment rates (which discount seasonal variations) were generally steady over the year.

Lansing-East Lansing Metropolitan Statistical Area
Lansing area payrolls increased seasonally in February, adding 1,200 jobs for a gain of 0.5 percent. Typically, however, jobs grow by over twice this amount as private service providing industries typically hold steady this time of year. This February, the area’s public education sector added jobs for the start of the new academic semester while manufacturing also edged higher monthly, but private service sector employment fell overall. Over the past year, Lansing nonfarm jobs continued to rebound overall, led by a notable gain in the region’s auto manufacturing sector.
  • Public education, particularly state-run colleges and universities, pushed the overall government sector higher in February following two consecutive months of holiday-related employment declines. About 80 percent of this gain was attributed to the state government subsector while local government (largely K-12 schools) accounted for the remaining increase. Private educational and health services chipped in 300 jobs and area manufacturers added 200 jobs over the month.
  • The remaining private service-providing sectors were either mostly unchanged or posted monthly losses. Professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and retail trade were the notable job losers in February, declining by anywhere from 400 to 600 jobs over the month. However, job counts in each of these sectors were slightly higher compared to February 2013 levels.
  • The Lansing MSA, which added 3,500 jobs over the year, was one of several Michigan metro areas with annual job gains. However, the area registered the single largest percentage gain in manufacturing (+10.2 percent) since February of last year among metro areas statewide. The sector added 1,800 jobs, largely attributed to area auto sector growth, and accounted for roughly half of the metro area’s overall job gains during this period.Transportation and warehousing gained 900 jobs as well, as this sector is closely tied to transportation equipment manufacturing locally. Among remaining sectors, most posted minor gains annually while only construction (-100) and private education and health (-400) were lower over the year.
Click to download the February 2014 Area Labor Market Analysis from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. 

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