©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation


Wednesday, September 16, 1998

Jim Tobin
(517) 335-4590

Settlement of GM Strike Has Favorable EffectMichigan's unemployment rate decreased in August by six-tenths of a percentage point to 3.6 percent, Doug Rothwell, CEO and department director of the Michigan Jobs Commission, announced today. Employment in August rose by 47,000 and unemployment dropped by 30,000 as the state labor force increased by 17,000. "The significant decline in the unemployment rate and the increase in employment can be attributed to the settlement of the labor-management dispute at General Motors, and the recall of workers in manufacturing," Rothwell said. He also said that August 1998 statewide employment and unemployment levels are nearly identical to the levels posted prior to the July labor dispute. Employment has climbed by 83,000, or 1.7 percent, since August 1997. "Michigan has outpaced the nation over the past year in both the rate of growth in employment and the labor force," Rothwell stated. Michigan Is Still Below National Average Michigan's unemployment rate remained below the national rate of 4.5 percent, and has fallen by 0.4 percentage points since August 1997. "Michigan's rate is almost a full percentage point below the national average," Rothwell said. "August was also the 41st consecutive month Michigan's rate has been below the national average, and the 54th month since January 1994 that Michigan's rate has been at or below the U.S. rate. This demonstrates the strength of our economy over a substantial amount of time." Manufacturing Recalls Boost Industry Jobs Based on the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted industry employment increased by 68,000 in August to total 4,543,000. The majority of job gains were in the goods producing industries as manufacturing rebounded by 62,000. Employment gains also occurred in services (+11,000), retail trade (+6,000) and wholesale trade (+1,000). The largest employment decline took place in government (-9,000). Industry jobs have increased by 92,000 in Michigan since August 1997. Approximately 85 percent of the increase has been in services and retail trade. Hours & Earnings Rise Seasonally adjusted hours and earnings of production workers in manufacturing and motor vehicles and equipment rose in August. Average weekly earnings were above month-ago and year-ago levels in both manufacturing and motor vehicles and equipment. Average hours remain below year-ago levels. Note to Eds: Please ensure that the source for state unemployment rates reads "Michigan Jobs Commission," or "Michigan Jobs Commission-Employment Service Agency."

Labor Force Estimates
Seasonally Adjusted
(Data in Thousands)
Civilian Labor Force5,0345,0174,9711763
Rate (percent)3.6%4.2%4.0%xxxxxx
*Preliminary data for August**Final estimates for July
Wage & Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(Data in Thousands)
Wage & Salary Employment4,5434,4754,4516892
Goods Producing Indust.1,1721,1111,1586114
Construction & Mining194195190-14
Durable Goods733675727597
Motor Vehicles & Equip.27823227946-1
Nondurable Goods24524224144
Service Producing Industries3,3713,3643,293878
Trans., Comm., & Utilities174175170-15
Wholesale Trade23223122814
Retail Trade835829819616
Finance, Ins., Real Estate207208205-12
*Preliminary data for August**Final estimates for July
Hours & Earnings for Production Workers
Seasonally Adjusted
Average Weekly Earnings$774.16$693.61$763.89$80.55$10.27
Average Weekly Hours43.242.844.30.4-1.2
Motor Vehicles & Equipment
Average Weekly Earnings$1,074.81$903.60$1,062.50$171.21$12.31
Average Weekly Hours43.542.647.30.9-3.8