Michigan’s statewide unemployment rate dropped again — and for all the right reasons. The jobless rate during September declined by one-tenth of a percentage, falling to an even 5 percent, as 10,000 more Michiganians found jobs and 3,000 more decided to start looking.
The new rate is one and seven-tenths percentage points below the state’s September 2014 rate of 6.7 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. It also marks the first month since August 2000 that Michigan’s jobless rate has fallen below the national rate, which was 5.1 percent for the September.
“Since early 2015, several key labor market indicators have shown improvement in Michigan and in the nation,” Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. “Monthly unemployment rates in the state and nation have been comparable, as have over-the-year payroll job growth rates.”
Except for a minor gain in May, Michigan’s jobless rate has fallen in every month so far during the year.
The number of payroll jobs declined by 10,000 during the month, but is up by 84,000 jobs since September 2014. The two rates are compiled from two different surveys, with the payroll jobs number coming from a poll of employers, while the overall household survey is based on calls to individuals. The overall unemployment number is based on all people working, including self-employed workers, independent contracts and consultants. Over time, the two rates move in the same general direction, despite discrepancies in individual months.