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Posted on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Michigan unemployment rate falls to lowest point since September 2008

By Nathan Bomey

Michigan's unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in January, marking its lowest point in nearly three and a half years, according to statistics released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The rate declined from 9.3 percent in December and 10.9 percent in January 2011, the state said.

The state added 19,000 jobs from December to January, including 16,000 manufacturing positions. The professional and business services industry added 3,000 jobs.

Among the positive signs for the economy is that the retail sector — which typically sheds jobs after the holiday shopping season — stayed steady at about 446,000 positions, according to the state.

The state's unemployment rate hasn't been lower since September 2008, when it was 8.9 percent. The rate averaged 10.3 percent in 2011 and 12.7 percent in 2010.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Unemployment rate is at its lowest since 08???? That's because many that were on unemployment have run out of the unemployment extensions! Those people are not counted as drawing unemployment... they have jobs???????

Tom Whitaker

Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

A little bit deeper analysis would be good journalistic practice, in that it would serve to better inform your readers. Statistics can be easily spun by political appointees of any party and the role of the media is help the citizens cut through the spin. The press release can be found here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Previous archived releases can be found here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;SUBID=151</a> The latest release contains data to show that from January 2011 to January 2012, the Michigan civilian labor force shrank by 46,000 persons, while the number of persons employed rose by 47,000. This is touted as a 94,000-person drop in the number of unemployed. Hmmm. But did 46,000 of those people leave Michigan, or did they stop being counted because their unemployment benefits were cut off? The workforce, according to the press release was 4,632,000 persons in January 2012, with 4,215,000 of them employed. In September 2008, the date cited as the last time the unemployment rate was this low, there were 4,920,000 persons in the workforce, with 4,512,000 of them employed. That's 297,000 fewer employed persons in Michigan now, than in 2008. Are we as well off now as we were in September 2008? I don't think so.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

The only way that Governor Snyder can claim any credit for the decrease in the unemployment rate is to boast about his nefariously clever action reducing the duration of unemployment insurance payments, which causes former recipients to seek help in another state. I calculate that 354,000 Michigan citizens remain unemployed. Hey, Rick, why not put these struggling citizens to work on the many infrastructure projects that are shovel ready throughout the state? Many of the unemployed who have education and skill levels sufficient only for construction and menial jobs, can do this work. And while they are working they can obtain occupational retraining for 21st century type jobs that will provide better salaries. But Governor Snyder prefers to reduce state financial support for education. I guess that the governor is waiting for a massive number of jobs to be created from the $1.8 billion in business tax reductions. In fact, the entire state is waiting with you, Mr. Snyder .... and waiting, .... and waiting, ....

Superior Twp voter

Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

But of course unemployment has gone down! SO many good people remain unemployed for so long they fall off of unemployment and are no longer counted! No brainer. Just watch as Broke Oblama puts the fix in for below 8% unemployment as election time draws near.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

Hmmm.... I know at least a half-dozen people who are now off unemployment and still not employed, or they are underemployed. Apparently, they don't matter when the numbers are being pulled together. Smoke and mirrors, a parlor trick for an election year.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

A lot of people have left the state,also people not collecting unemployment benefits lowers the numbers,what jobs have been produced? (not middle class ones) Definitely staying away from this Kool-Aid.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

This is the LAST thing the republicans want to hear.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

Bin Laden dead. GM alive. Obama 2012


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

Everytime that number drops the democrates lose voters. Keep up the good job Rick.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

Yes, this is all Ricks doing! He caused the lay off 5000 teachers because of $1.8 B in tax cuts for business and subsequent $1 B cut in education. Plus he caused more layoffs to public safety workers due to cuts in revenue sharing. All his Republican buddies, if they had it their way, would have not given the bail out to the auto companies like Obama did. The auto companies are now recording record profits and hiring and Rick is taking credit. Sorry, more tax cuts are ruining education in this state and not creating jobs, but destroying jobs.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

What you mean is the middle class loses, and wealthy executives win. The rich get richer...


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

Teachers unions lose..... Private sector wins.... Unemploym


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

Darn it Rick..... Why do the numbers have to be so good? it's so much fun watching the hypocrisy from the left.

Needs Vacation

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

Unemployment rate falling, in Michigan? This is magic. Nation adds 200k jobs in February and the unemployment rate drops. It takes 150k jobs to keep even with growth rates. If 200k jobs were lost would the same percentage be added to the unemployment rate, I don't think so. BLS deceives.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Odd, my math seems off. Hmm, calculator too? Jobs lost in Michigan...a hard figure to nail down, but the low end in the last two years alone has it pegged at around 400,000. Add back the 38,000 as reported above = someone is not telling it like it an election year.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 8 p.m.

I wonder what Granholm is tweeting about? If gas gets up above $4.00 for a significant amount of time it ain't gonna be pretty.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.