2017-11-12 / Marketplace

County’s jobless rate declines to 4.5%

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER COUNTY — The “Help Wanted” sign remains firmly staked in front of many stores and manufacturers this fall and the jobless rate continues to decline in Lapeer County.

The unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percent from 4.6 percent in August to 4.5 percent in September — the 23rd lowest jobless rate of Michigan’s 83 counties.

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September increased over the month by four-tenths of a percentage point to 4.3 percent, according to data recently released by the Michigan Dept. of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). The number of unemployed rose in September by 19,000 while total employment was essentially flat. The net result was a 17,000 advance in the state’s workforce.

The Michigan jobless rate in September 2017 was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the state’s September 2016 rate of 5.0 percent. The national jobless rate also declined by seven tenths of a percentage point over this period. The state’s unemployment rate in September was one-tenth of a percentage point above the national rate. The U.S. jobless rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 percent in September.

“For the first time since April, Michigan’s workforce increased as a relatively large number of individuals entered the labor market seeking employment. Many of these entrants into the job market did not immediately find work,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “However, payroll jobs in Michigan edged up in September.”

The September jobless rate of counties in the region from lowest to highest was as follows:

• Oakland: 3.5 percent, the same as August;

• Macomb: 4.1 percent, down from 4.2;

• St. Clair: 4.4 percent, down from 4.5;

• Lapeer: 4.5 percent, down from 4.6;

• Sanilac: 5.0 percent, down from 5.7;

• Tuscola: 5.5 percent, down from 6.4;

• Genesee: 5.6 percent, down from 5.8.

Michigan’s September jobless rate was well below the state’s January rate (5.2 percent), and was similar to the 2017 year-to-date average rate of 4.5 percent. This was the lowest quarterly rate posted in Michigan since the 3.8 percent rate displayed in the third quarter 2000. However, Michigan had more than 300,000 fewer employed in the third quarter 2017 as compared to the third quarter 2000.

The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan rose by 33,000 in September to 4,424,000. Seasonal advances in government education, private education and professional and business services were responsible for the overall job gains. Job additions were reported in local government education (+39,000) and state government education (+28,000) as students returned to colleges, universities and local schools for the fall semester.

Private sector jobs fell in Michigan by 17,000 in September with seasonal job cuts in leisure and hospitality services (-18,000), trade, transportation and utilities (-9,000) and construction (-3,000) partially offset by seasonal gains in professional and business services (+15,000) and private education (+6,000). Manufacturing jobs were down by 6,000 over the month reflecting production adjustment layoffs in the state’s auto sector.

In September the lowest jobless rate in Michigan was found in Mackinac County at 3.2 percent, while the highest was in Montmorency County at 8.2 percent.

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