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Michigan jobless rate drops in March


There are mixed signals in the new Michigan employment numbers that were released today.

The historically low unemployment rate of 4-point-4 percent appears to portend a comeback from COVID-related job losses.

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 says 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.”

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

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.