January Unemployment Rates Rise Seasonally

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Lansing – Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates rose in all of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in January, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Total employment and labor force levels fell seasonally in all regions over the month.

“Michigan’s local labor market changes in January were seasonal as employment typically falls in the winter months throughout the state,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. “In general, the state’s local regions reported improvement since January 2012. Over the past year, unemployment rates declined and payroll jobs were up in the majority of areas.”

From December to January, regional jobless rate advances ranged from 0.1 to 1.8 percentage points with a median gain of 0.8 of a percentage point. The largest over-the-month percentage point increases occurred in the Northeast Lower Michigan region (+1.8), the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (+1.3), and the Northwest Lower Michigan region (+1.2). The smallest unemployment rate advances in January were recorded in the Ann Arbor (+0.1) and Holland-Grand Haven (+0.3) MSAs. In January, six Michigan regional labor markets posted jobless rates below the U.S. January seasonally unadjusted rate of 8.5 percent.

Jobless Rates Down Over Year
From January 2012 to January 2013, unemployment rates fell in 16 of the 17 regional labor market areas in the state. The median rate reduction for the 16 areas was 0.6 of a percentage point. The most pronounced percentage point rate declines over the year were registered in the Holland-Grand Haven (-1.0) and Grand Rapids-Wyoming (-0.9) MSAs along with the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-0.9). The unemployment rate in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA rose slightly by 0.3 of a percentage point since January 2012.

Total Employment Down Over Month, Mixed Over Year
Over the month, total employment fell in all 17 regions, recording a significant seasonal median drop of 1.8 percent. Nearly all areas reported reductions of over 1.0 percent in January. Since January 2012, total employment changes were mostly moderate. Ten regions recorded employment reductions averaging around 1.0 percent, while six areas showed gains averaging 0.8 percent. Total employment was essentially unchanged over the year in the Northwest Lower Michigan region.

Labor Force Levels Down Over Month, Year
In January, labor force levels fell seasonally in all regions. Workforce reductions over the month ranged from 0.1 to 2.9 percent with a median decline of 1.0 percent.