Michigan’s monthly unemployment rate was statistically unchanged in September, edging down one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.3 percent.
It was the first time since April that the rate hasn’t gone up and the state’s jobless rate is a full percentage below where it was at this time a year ago.
Bruce Weaver, with the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, says the improvement is due largely to hiring in business services and manufacturing. He lists: accounting services, temporary help, the IT sector, mortgage banking and financial services, the hospital industry, and the auto industry.
Weaver says the numbers reflect real job growth over the past 12 months, and not people who quit looking for jobs and dropped out of the workforce.
“Most of that job growth that’s occurred since last fall has been in professional and business services, where jobs have been up by 22,000, and in the manufacturing sector, which includes new jobs in the auto industry and support manufacturing sectors,” he says.
Weaver says the biggest job losses over the past 12 months were in retail and government employment.
The rate of unemployment and under-employment in Michigan is 17 percent. That number takes into account people who have quit looking for work, and part-timers who’d like full-time jobs.