Michigan unemployment rate drops, lowest since mid-2008

Posted on April 18, 2013

Michigan’s unemployment rate took a healthy drop in March to 8.5%, down three-tenths of a percentage point as the state’s labor force expanded slightly.

More new workers were recorded than unemployed people, meaning the drop was due to actual gains in employment, not simply discouraged workers leaving the workforce, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The Michigan jobless rate for the same month last year was 9%. The national jobless rate for March was 7.6%.

“Overall, Michigan’s labor market situation in early 2013 has been positive,” said Michael Williams, acting director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The state’s unemployment rate in March was the lowest recorded since mid-2008, and payroll jobs this year are the highest since the fourth quarter of 2008.”

If the trend seemed positive, month to month changes in the labor market could still seem volatile. In March, the state recorded a drop in number of jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (down 5,000), as well as drops in construction jobs (down 3,000), and government (down 2,000).

These declines were somewhat offset by job gains in professional and business services (up 4,000).

John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press.