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Posted on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

Michigan unemployment: September rate climbs to 15.3 percent

By Paula Gardner

The state's unemployment rate rose to 15.3 percent in September, continuing the trend since June of making small monthly jumps.

The rate rose from 15.2 percent in August, according to data from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG). It's up from 8.9 percent in September 2008, and compares to the national rate of 9.8 percent.

But the jump represents the loss of 4,000 jobs last month, which - combined with a loss of 10,000 people from the labor pool - yields a net loss of 14,000 filled jobs statewide in September.

It appears many of the job losses are coming from the Metro Detroit area, where unemployment continues to grow at a faster rate than the state's, reaching 17.8 percent in September and nearly doubling from the same month in 2008, according to DELEG. Metro Detroit posted 184,000 job losses during the last year, while total employment fell by 179,000.

Sectors that posted job cuts included: • Government (-21,000) • Trade, transportation and utilities (-8,000) • Leisure & hospitality (-6,000) • Construction (-3,000) • Education and health services (-3,000)

Sectors that grew jobs: • Professional and business services (11,000) • Manufacturing (7,000)

Data specific to Ann Arbor's September unemployment rate will be released Oct. 22. Ann Arbor's rate was 9.5 percent in August.


Alan Benard

Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 10:11 p.m.

Saying Michigan is a high-tax state in 2009 is incorrect.'s State and Local Tax Burden, 1977-2008Michigan's highest ranking out of 50 in this range of years was 1984 - 5th place. The lowest - 1995, 30th place. 2008: 27th place, and 28th the year before. There's still some people with money here in Michigan and they've been running a Proposal A scam on everyone else for far too long. First step: Kill term limits (and otherwise fix our broken constitution). Second step: Progressive and graduated state income tax -- I should not be paying the same 4.35 percent as Laurel Champion or Bill Ford, Jr. Third step: Return reasonable local taxing powers.

John Galt

Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 8:54 p.m.

"I appreciate that the anti-Granholm hysterics are confined to the "defunct" site" Well, since you bring up the subject....have we all been "blown away" yet?

Jon Saalberg

Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 5:39 p.m.

I appreciate that the anti-Granholm hysterics are confined to the "defunct" site. Vigorously growing a tech/21st century job base is the best way to invigorate Michigan's economy. I suppose the anti-union crowd is thankful for large corporations like Wal-Mart that provide low-wage jobs that don't pay enough to support anyone. And when I say "support", I mean pay enough to let a worker afford housing, food, clothing, utilities, and the like.


Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 4:25 p.m.

My AARP magazine last month gave the average state taxes paid across the US and Michigan is in the middle of the pack and less than some southern there numbers guy


Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 4:19 p.m.

@John Galt - I thought unemployment maxed out around $500 or so a month. If that's a "living wage" to you and your family, then I suspect you do not come from a union background. And as much as I used to rag on Michigan, the tax situation in New Jersey is MUCH worse! Granted, we have tons of jobs here, in various sectors, but the state and municipalities do tend to take a large chunk of that money from us.


Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 3:21 p.m.

"those who remain will be earning a living wage" is what I was trying to give in sound bit snipets that most are accustom. If you think we can compete with 50 cents a day wages and a bowl of rice you are mistaken...our built in infrastructure alone demands a wage and tax base that is above that of a 'developing" country.Enough said and organized labor is not going deal with it!


Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 2:22 p.m.

I'd rather live in a State with living wages than a republican run sweat shop!!!

John Galt

Wed, Oct 14, 2009 : 1:59 p.m.

Wow! This State is a disaster. I bet more of the population would have already moved if they were not "stuck" in their underwater mortgages, etc. The country may be in a recession, but Michigan is in a depression. Even Ann Arbor is approaching 10 percent unemployment. We need to make this State more attractive to new business. It has a terrible reputation as a Union-run, high tax locale. We should consider making it a Right-to-Work State and encourage manufacturing to return. The pay may be lower, but a job is better than 15+ percent unemployment.