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MICHIGAN'S JOBLESS RATE SLIPS TO 8.9 PERCENT IN JANUARY

 MICHIGAN'S JOBLESS RATE SLIPS TO 8.9 PERCENT IN JANUARY
 DETROIT, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Unemployment in Michigan edged down


in January to a seasonally adjusted 8.9 percent, F. Robert Edwards, director of the Michigan Employment Security Commission (MESC), reported today.
 According to labor force estimates prepared by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobless Michigan workers declined by 13,000 last month to 408,000. In December, 421,000, or 9.2 percent of the work force, were unemployed. A year ago, January 1991, 7.7 percent or 349,000 were out of work.
 In explaining the drop in unemployment, Edwards said post-holiday layoffs in the retail trade were less severe this year than have been in the past.
 "Apparently, fewer temporary workers were hired by retailers this holiday season, resulting in fewer layoffs," Edwards said. "In addition, employment remained relatively firm in construction and among most of the state's service industries."
 There were, however, substantial short-term layoffs in the automotive and related industries during the month.
 Employment statewide rose by 61,000 in January to a seasonally adjusted 4,199,000. The work force also grew, climbing by 48,000 to 4,607,000.
 Despite the unemployment decline, Edwards said there was no slowdown in unemployment claims activity. The number of jobless workers receiving state benefits or federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation averaged 278,500 a week in January, an increase of 51 percent from the 184,000 recorded in December. In 1991, claims for state benefits averaged 205,600 in January.
 For the three months ended in January, unemployment in Michigan averaged 9.2 percent, unchanged from the August through October period, but up significantly from the 7.7-percent average registered during November 1990 to January 1991.
 Among the nation's 11 largest states, Michigan had the highest January rate followed by Florida at 8.7 percent. North Carolina had the lowest rate at 5.7 percent. Illinois and Ohio had rates of 8.2 and 6.7 percent, respectively.
 Michigan's unadjusted rate climbed by more than a percentage point to 9.8 percent in January from 8.5 percent in December. The number of jobless rose by 58,000 to 448,000.
 Nationally, unemployment remained unchanged in January at a seasonally adjusted 7.1 percent for the civilian work force.
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Norman Isotalo of MESC, 313-876-5488/ CO: Michigan Employment Security Commission ST: Michigan IN: SU:


JG -- DE018 -- 7754 02/07/92 12:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 7, 1992
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