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MICHIGAN JOBLESS RATE DROPS TO 9.1 PERCENT IN DECEMBER; AVERAGE FOR 1991 UP NEARLY TWO POINTS

 MICHIGAN JOBLESS RATE DROPS TO 9.1 PERCENT IN DECEMBER;
 AVERAGE FOR 1991 UP NEARLY TWO POINTS
 DETROIT, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan's seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December dropped by more than half a percentage point, falling to 9.1 percent, F. Robert Edwards, director of the Michigan Employment Security Commission (MESC), reported today.
 Edwards also released Michigan's average unemployment rate for 1991, which increased by one and seven-tenths percentage points to 9.2 percent. The nation's annual average rate rose by one and two-tenths percentage points to 6.7 percent last year.
 According to estimates prepared by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobless workers in the state fell by 24,000 last month to 415,000. In November, 439,000 or 9.7 percent of the work force were unemployed. A year ago, December 1990, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent with 333,000 out of work.
 "Most of the state's major industrial sectors had either small declines or no change in their employment levels in December," Edwards said. "The major exception was retail trade, which reported hiring increases for the holiday sales season."
 Employment statewide rose by 43,000 in December, climbing to 4,149,000. The work force also increased, growing by 19,000 to 4,564,000.
 Michigan's unemployment rate averaged 9.2 percent during 1991's fourth quarter, up from 9.0 percent during the third quarter and up from 7.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 1990.
 Among the nation's 11 largest states, Illinois had the highest rate at 9.3 percent. Michigan was second, followed by Massachusetts at 8.4 percent. North Carolina had the lowest rate at 5.7 percent. Ohio, the other Great Lakes state included among the 11, had a rate of 6.6 percent.
 Michigan's seasonally unadjusted December jobless rate was 8.5 percent, down from 9.0 percent in November. The number of unemployed declined by 21,000 during the month to 390,000.
 Unemployment increases in 1991
 For the year 1991, unemployment in Michigan averaged 9.2 percent, up from 7.5 percent for 1990.
 The number of unemployed averaged 418,000 last year compared to 344,000 in 1990, an increase of 74,000.
 Employment dropped by 108,000 to 4,125,000, while Michigan's work force declined by 35,000 to 4,543,000.
 "The increase in unemployment in 1991, along with the decline in the number of working people in the state, are two signs of the impact that the recession has had on Michigan," Edwards said.
 According to industry employment estimates, the only major industries to report job gains in Michigan during 1991 were mining; financing, insurance and real estate; and services. The other major categories, including manufacturing and the auto industry, all suffered job losses.
 National unemployment increases in December and 1991
 Nationally, unemployment for the civilian labor force climbed to a seasonally adjusted 7.1 percent in December from 6.9 percent in November. For the year, unemployment averaged 6.7 percent, up from 5.5 percent in 1990.
 -0- 1/10/92
 /CONTACT: Norman Isotalo of MESC, 313-876-5488/ CO: Michigan Employment Security Commission ST: Michigan IN: SU:


KK -- DE005 -- 8644 01/10/92 12:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 10, 1992
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