Unemployment and Payroll Indicators

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The effects of COVID-19 pandemic have deeply impacted employment in Michigan. Due to COVID-19 related business layoffs and closures, over 2.8 million people across the state have filed for unemployment insurance claims since mid-March.

In August 2021, Michigan unemployment rate registered at 4.7%, after a peak in April of 23.6%. Previously, Michigan’s experienced a 20-year low of 3.8% unemployment in February 2020, ranking 32nd among all states. Michigan seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 15.4% in 2009, ranking 50th among all states.

The Chamber is connecting workers displaced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Several organizations are hiring large numbers of employees. Below you will find openings in essential industries that have ramped up hiring locally. View available jobs.

For more information on unemployment benefits and paid leave, visit the Chamber’s unemployment benefits and paid leave resource page.


Text as of 10/14/2021

Since mid-March, over 2.8 million people in Michigan have filed unemployment insurance claims. For the most recent week filed of October 09, 2021, figures show initial unemployment insurance claims increased 21.1% to 18,211 initial claims. The 4 week moving average for initial claims is 15,989.

Continued claims for the week ending October 09, 2021 were estimated at 58,944 for the state of Michigan, a 0.2% increased over the previous week. Over 114 fewer continued claims were seen in the most recent week of reported data, compared to the previous week.

Michigan’s 1.3% jobless rate, or unemployed workers in the total labor force. Jobless rate is the total continuing claims divided by the state’s wage and salary covered by employment from Q3, 2019. Michigan’s jobless rate ranks 20th among the 50 states.

Michigan’s August 2021 monthly unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 4.7%. The Detroit MSA’s unemployment rate decreased 0.8 percentage points to 3.7% in August 2021. The national unemployment decreased to 5.2% in August, placing Michigan’s unemployment rate 0.5 percentage points below the nation. For context, Michigan’s peak unemployment rate during the Great Recession reached 15.4% in July 2009.


Unemployment Rate by Counties


Michigan monthly payroll jobs increased by 4,700 in August 2021, after a decrease by over 1 million in April 2020 – the lowest level in the state since prior to 1990. The previous largest monthly job cut since 1990 occurred in January 2009, with a seasonally adjusted reduction of 100,000 jobs. Industry sectors across the state experienced job losses due to pandemic related shutdowns. In the past 12 months, payroll jobs have increased by 128,500. 

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