Monroe’s unemployment rate edges up
While most of Michigan’s major labor markets showed signs of improvement, Monroe’s unemployment rate declined.
New data from the State Department of Technology, Management and Budget shows Monroe’s labor market unemployment rate for April was 6%, an increase from the March metric of 5 , 6%.
DTMB officials track unemployment rates in the state’s 17 largest labor markets, including the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Monroe, which encompasses the county. April figures are the latest data available.
The Monroe and Lansing markets were the only two to show an increase in unemployment rates, which have been high since the COVID-19 pandemic and the response that followed has spiked unemployment rates across the state. .
The April 2020 measure for Monroe climbed to 26.2%, highlighting the effect of the pandemic on local workers.
The recent 0.4% increase is comparable to changes in other labor markets, which have mostly seen nominal declines in unemployment rates. The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn market, which at one point had been one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic, became the region with the lowest unemployment rate in April at 3.7%. Northeast Michigan’s labor market, which is made up of 12 counties, had the highest rate at 7.5%.
Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said unemployment rates improved significantly over the year.
“Unemployment rates in parts of Michigan have fallen very sharply since April 2020, which was the peak of layoffs linked to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rourke said. “Despite these improvements, unemployment rates remain above April 2019 levels.”
Monroe’s labor market is approximately 72,000 people.
In April, 67,600 people were employed. About 4,300 people applied for unemployment benefits from the state.
According to DTMB data, Monroe has seen a decline in the size of its workforce. Last year it lost the largest percentage of its resident workers, leading the state to that extent.
Since last year, the Monroe market has lost approximately 2,000 workers.
DTMB officials say the Monroe and Lansing markets have likely seen higher employment rates due to layoffs in the auto industry.
The agency reports a shortage of semiconductor chips, which has led to a decline in overall employment in manufacturing, especially among Michigan-based automakers.
DTMB officials will release May data towards the end of the month.