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Posted on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 2:37 p.m.

Michigan unemployment falls to 15.1 percent

By Paula Gardner

Michigan officials released a glimmer of good news this afternoon with an unemployment rate that's edging down.

The statewide unemployment rate was 15.1 percent in October, according to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.

That's down from 15.3 percent in September.

The 15.1 percent unemployment rate compares to a national rate of 10.2 percent, an increase from 9.8 percent in September.

The gain represents 16,000 jobs, according to the state.

“Michigan’s jobless rate remained near 15 percent, where it has been since June” said Rick Waclawek, director of DELEG’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, in a press release. “However, modest job gains were recorded in October in construction and health care.”

The jobless rate was 9.1 percent in October 2008.

Seasonal employment appears to be playing a role in the figure, according to the state, since a spike of 25,000 new jobs professional and business services is attributed to holiday hiring.

The state's average unemployment rate for the first 10 months of the year was 13.9 percent, compared to the annual rate in 2008 of 8.4 percent. The difference represents 284,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, average weekly earnings are trending up, from $897.76 in October 2008 to $936.09 this year.



Thu, Nov 19, 2009 : 7:58 a.m.

Unemployment fell because the first wave of people who were laid off during this recession's benefits ran out.

John Galt

Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 9:56 p.m.

The tenth of a percent drop could be people dropping off the rolls. Or people leaving the State to look for greener pastures (which would be anywhere, statistically).

Val Losse

Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 9:43 p.m.

When the auto industry was going full steam ahead the State spent like a drunken sailor, great health benefits for themselves, huge unemployment checks (I benefited from them), welfare checks to draw people from across the country into the State, last of money for the education system and the list goes on. Now that the auto industry in a huge slump the spending and taxes are still going on. To attract business the taxes have to be lowered. To creat jobs think about what you are buying and where it is made. Try to learn what countries buy from us and buy their products and CHINA is not one of those countries. Try Canada and Mexico or countries that are helping us on the war on terror. Not buying China is not shopping at ChinaMart(Wallmart).


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 8:02 p.m.

Hey John of Saline.Your so wrong All any GOVERMENT does is spend does not matter who or what side it is.Wake up John.


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 7:42 p.m.

I've spent so much time trying to cleverly think of some brilliant thing we could do in this State to turn our economy around. So many people out of work - it's just terrible. And our State reps continue to do nothing to attact businesses here.

John of Saline

Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 7:21 p.m.

Dan, issues like that only are elaborated on in the media when a Republican is president or governor.


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 5:16 p.m.

Dan I think the underemployment rate in the State is 25% or more.


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 4:52 p.m.

Hey Dan., That would make it millions of people who have given up.


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 4:25 p.m.

The unemployment rate does not count people who have given up looking for work, correct? How many people fall into that category? What is the underemployment rate - that is, the number of people who are working part-time but want to be working full time?


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 4:10 p.m.

WOW HOW IMNPRESSIVE.I have to wonder when the city of Ann Arbor and the State of Michigan is ghoing to stop allowing JOBS to leave the city and the state. A unemployed college Graduate


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 3:51 p.m.

If the rate stays constant it is about a 2.4% annual decrease. Then in just over two years, we will match the US unemployment rate of today.


Wed, Nov 18, 2009 : 3:30 p.m.

Yea! Hopefully both trends will continue.