Ann Arbor area adds thousands of jobs in February but unemployment rate remains steady
The Ann Arbor area added approximately 3,000 jobs in the month of February. Most of the gains were the result of seasonal hiring at public universities in the region, according to a report from the state's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
The temporary status of employees at the area’s universities create large dips and rises in the number of jobs in the area as school goes into and out of session, but does not generally effect the unemployment rate.
Year over year, the area’s job total is up 6,300, in large part thanks to gains in the professional and business services sector, which added 2,300 jobs since February 2012. The sector led a strong month of job growth for several private sector industries, posting a 4.3 percent increase in jobs in February alone.
In fact, nine of the 10 sectors measured by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and the Budget added jobs in the past year. The only sector to see a decrease in the Ann Arbor area was leisure and hospitality.
Once again, Washtenaw County’s jobless rate led the state by a wide margin. Kent and Barry counties came in a full percentage point behind Washtenaw with 6.3 percent rates. Mackinac County continues to lag well behind with an unemployment rate of 24.6 percent.
Since February 2012, Michigan’s seasonally unadjusted rate has dropped from 9.8 percent to 9.3 percent. The Ann Arbor area lowered its rate by a similar margin, dropping from 5.7 to its current rate of 5.3 percent.
Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2