May Unemployment Nudged Up

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Michigan's unemployment rate crept up to 7.1 percent in May, with total employment dropping by 15,000 workers, state officials reported Wednesday.

The number rose from April's rate of 7.0 percent, which was the highest in the nation for that month. The national unemployment rate for May was 5.1 percent.

Michigan's unemployment rate has been in the seven percent range for more than two years, making it one of the slowest to recover from the last recession.

The state's May 2005 rate was a tenth of a percentage point above the year-ago rate, despite employment rising by 42,000 since May 2004, said Richard Waclawek, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Seasonally adjusted payroll jobs dropped by 11,000 in May to a total of 4.37 million. Five thousand jobs were lost in government, while 4,000 were lost in leisure and hospitality services.

However, the leisure and hospitality sector has grown the most in the past year, adding 6,000 jobs since May 2004.

Two thousand manufacturing jobs were added in May but manufacturing remains 20,000 jobs below what it was a year ago. Professional and business services dropped 1,000 jobs in May and is down 15,000 jobs from a year ago.