LANSING, Mich – Seasonally unadjusted jobless rates in September decreased in all 17 of Michigan’s major labor market areas, including Muskegon, according to data from the Michigan

Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Employment levels and unemployment were both down over the month across most Michigan regions.

“The state’s regional labor markets reported expected movements in September, including seasonal labor force declines,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “September’s payroll employment gains largely reflected seasonal recalls in education-related industries and marked the beginning of the academic year.”

In the Muskegon labor market, the unemployment rate declined from 4.3 percent to 3.9 percent from August to September. However, the rate was slightly above last year’s September rate of 3.8 percent.

At the same time Muskegon’s labor force declined from 76,400 to 74,800 from August to September. However, the September number was 1.2 percent higher than a year earlier.

In the month of September, regional unemployment rates ranged from 2.8 to 4.4 percent. Jobless rate declines ranged from 0.3 to 0.9 percentage points, with a median decline of six-tenths of a percentage point. The largest over-the-month rate reduction was recorded in the Upper Peninsula (-0.9 percent). Michigan’s nonseasonally adjusted jobless rate in September was 3.7 percent, four-tenths above the national rate of 3.3 percent.

September Jobless Rates Rise Over Year

Since September 2018, unemployment rates rose in 15 Michigan labor market areas.

Rate increases ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 percentage points. The largest over-the-year rate increases were recorded in the Battle Creek, Bay City, and Upper Peninsula regions, at 0.4 percentage points each. Monroe was the only region to exhibit a jobless rate decline over the year (-0.2 percentage points), while the Niles-Benton Harbor region remained unchanged since September 2018.

Total Employment Down Over Month, Up Over Year

Since August, total employment fell in 13 regions and advanced in four. Employment declines ranged from 0.1 to 4.8 percent, with a median drop of 1.3 percent. The largest over-the-month reduction occurred in the Northwest Lower Michigan region (-4.8 percent). The Lansing metropolitan statistical area (MSA) exhibited the largest over-themonth increase in employment, advancing by 1.9 percent since August.

Over the year, total employment grew in 13 regions, led by the Niles-Benton Harbor MSA (+1.6 percent). Employment fell in four Michigan labor market areas over the year.

The Bay City MSA demonstrated the largest decline in employment since September 2018, edging down by 0.6 percent over the year.