©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Jobless Rate Edges Down in June

Wednesday, July 15, 1998

Jim Tobin
(517) 335-4590

June Estimates Not Impacted by Labor DisputeMichigan's labor force situation was largely unchanged in June, edging down slightly, according to estimates released today by the Michigan Jobs Commission. The seasonally adjusted state jobless rate fell by one-tenth of a point to 3.6 percent. The strikes at General Motors had no noticeable impact on the state's labor statistics for June. This is because: - Workers directly involved in labor disputes are considered employed. - Labor statistics reflect the week including the 12th day of each month, and the substantial strike-related layoffs recorded in June occurred after this reference week. "These estimates indicate that the underlying condition of Michigan's job market was positive in June," said Doug Rothwell, CEO and Department Director of the Michigan Jobs Commission. "However, as June progressed, the impact of the General Motors strike was evident in significant layoff activity and reductions in auto-related production." Second Quarter Improvement in Joblessness Levels of employment and unemployment were relatively unchanged in June. Employment rose slightly, increasing by 3,000 to 4,854,000. The number of unemployed fell by 8,000 to 180,000. Slightly less entry than usual of workers into the job market caused a 6,000 drop in the state labor force to 5,033,000. The jobless rate in the second quarter of 1998 was 3.6 percent, which is the lowest quarterly jobless rate in Michigan since at least 1970. It represents a healthy decline from the 4.0 percent unemployment rate recorded in the first quarter of 1998. "Business conditions remained very strong in the second quarter of the year, which was reflected in the record low jobless rate for the quarter," said Rothwell. Michigan's unemployment rate in June was substantially below the national rate of 4.5 percent. This is the 39th consecutive month Michigan's rate has been below the national average, and the 52th month since January 1994 in which Michigan's rate has been at or below the U.S. rate. Industry Jobs Increase Slightly in June According to the monthly survey of employers, seasonally adjusted industry employment recorded a slight 2,000 gain in June to total 4,543,000. Government employment rose 3,000, and the construction and service industries each added 2,000 jobs. These gains were offset by employment losses in manufacturing (-4,000) and retail trade (-2,000). Over the past year, however, industry job growth has been substantial. Industry employment has jumped by 100,000 since June 1997, with 60,000 of the additional jobs produced in the service and retail trade industries. Production Hours and Earnings Fall Cuts in industrial production associated with the General Motors labor disputes did result in reductions in June in seasonally adjusted hours worked and earnings in manufacturing. Manufacturing hours dropped from 43.2 to 42.8, due primarily to a large 1.3 hour decline in the auto industry. Average weekly earnings for production workers in manufacturing also fell, dropping $19.20 to $739.70.

Labor Force Estimates
Seasonally Adjusted
(Data in thousands)
Civilian labor force5,0335,0394,978- 6+ 55
Employment4,8544,8514,772+ 3+ 82
Unemployment180188206- 8- 26
* Preliminarydata for June
** Final estimates forMay
Wage & Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Wage & SalaryEmployment4,5434,5414,442+ 2+100
Goods Producing Industries1,1721,1741,152- 2+ 20
Construction & Mining197195189+ 2+ 8
Mining878+ 10
Construction190188181+ 2+ 9
Manufacturing975979963- 4+ 12
Durable Goods730732720- 2+ 10
Motor Veh. & Eqp279280275- 1+ 4
Nondurable Goods245246243- 1+ 2
Service Producing Industries3,3713,3673,290+ 4+ 81
Trans., Comm. & Utilities177176174+ 1+ 3
Wholesale Trade2332332270+ 6
Retail Trade832834817- 2+ 15
Finance, Ins., Real Estate2092092060+ 3
Services1,2621,2601,217+ 2+ 45
Government659656650+ 3+ 9
* Preliminary estimates for June
** Final estimates for May
Hours and Earnings for ProductionWorkers
Seasonally Adjusted
Average weekly earnings$739.70$758.91$750.59- $19.21- $10.89
Average weekly hours42.843.244.2- 0.4- 1.4
Motor Vehicle Industry
Average weekly earnings$992.62$1034.69$1018.60- $ 42.07- $25.98
Average weekly hours41.943.246.9- 1.3- 5.0