Detroit Regional Chamber > Research > Unemployment and Payroll Indicators

Unemployment and Payroll Indicators

June 17, 2020
The effects of COVID-19 pandemic have deeply impacted employment in Michigan. Due to COVID-19 related business layoffs and closures, over 2.9 million people across the state have filed for unemployment insurance claims since mid-March.

In November 2021, Michigan unemployment rate registered at 4.2%, 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 01/06/2022

Since mid-March, over 2.9 million people in Michigan have filed unemployment insurance claims. For the most recent week filed of January 01, 2021, figures show initial unemployment insurance claims increased 29.9% to 19,827 initial claims. The 4 week moving average for initial claims is 14,978.

Continued claims for the week ending January 01, 2022 were estimated at 52,582 for the state of Michigan, a 7.3% increased over the previous week. Over 3,598 more continued claims were seen in the most recent week of reported data, compared to the previous week.

Michigan’s 1.2% 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 22th among the 50 states.

Michigan’s November 2021 monthly unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points to 4.2%. The Detroit MSA’s unemployment rate decreased 0.7 percentage points to 3.8% in November 2021. The national unemployment decreased to 3.9% in November, placing Michigan’s unemployment rate 0.3 percentage points above 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 17,300 in November 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 144,800.


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