Michigan unemployment jumps again in March
Michigan’s unemployment rate jumped to 12.6 percent in March, but job losses have slowed in recent months, good news for the hard-hit state.
The higher number is likely to keep Michigan in the spotlight as the state with the nation’s worst unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate in March was 8.5 percent.
Still, the rise announced Wednesday from 12 percent in February to 12.6 percent is likely to keep Michigan in the spotlight as the state with the nation’s worst unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate in March was 8.5 percent.
The bright news in the monthly report is that payroll jobs declined by a total of 34,000 in February and March. Over the three months of November, December and January, the state lost 116,000 jobs.
Although the ailing auto industry has been pushing up Michigan’s unemployment rate, the manufacturing sector was the only major job category to show an increase in March as some workers were called back to work. After reporting a drop of 54,000 jobs from December to January, this sector has remained steady.
The state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Development said the weakness in the auto industry, coupled with the national recession, has “severely affected” Michigan’s labor market over the past year, forcing the state’s unemployment rate to rise at its fastest 12-month pace since 1980.
A year ago, Michigan’s rate stood at 7.6 percent _ five percentage points lower.
Seasonally adjusted Michigan payroll jobs declined in March by 23,000 to 3.9 million. The biggest losses were in professional and business services, down 8,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, down 4,000; construction, down 3,000; and leisure and hospitality services, also down 3,000.
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