91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan jobless rate drops in March

A sign at a Sault St. Marie restaurant advertises open jobs.
Brett Dahlberg
Michigan Radio
A sign at a Sault St. Marie restaurant advertises open jobs.

Michigan’s historically low March jobless rate appears to portend a comeback from COVID-19-related job losses.

Michigan’s March unemployment rate was 4.4%. That rate is largely due to businesses re-opening as COVID restrictions wind down.

But, while the jobless rate is low, so is the workforce participation rate. That is, there are still plenty of people who could work but are hanging back from re-joining the workforce. And economic analyst Bruce Weaver with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget said there are plenty of jobs waiting.

“If individuals were to enter the labor market and start looking for jobs, there’s a high probability that they would be successful,” he told Michigan Public Radio.

Weaver said this marks the 11th consecutive month the state has posted job gains since COVID-19 idled much of the workforce.

“Really, for the last five months, the pace of job growth has been pretty steady,” he said. “The state has added anywhere from 12,000 to 17,000 jobs for each of the last five months.”

The biggest job gains came in industries that were most affected by the pandemic, such as hospitality and manufacturing.

In a statement, Governor Gretchen Whitmer cheered the jobs numbers:

“For 11 straight months, our economy has added jobs, and in March 2022, unemployment hit a pandemic-low of 4.4%. The last time Michigan had a 4.4% unemployment rate was in 2018,” she said.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
Related Content