Unemployment and Payroll Indicators

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The effects of COVID-19 pandemic have deeply impacted employment in Michigan. Due to COVID-19 related business layoffs and closures, nearly 1.8 million people across the state have filed for unemployment insurance claims since mid-March.

In August 2020, Michigan unemployment rate registered at 8.7%, after a peak in April of 22.7%. Previously, Michigan’s experienced a 20-year low of 3.6% unemployment in February 2020, ranking 32nd among all states. Michigan seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 15.4% in 2009, ranking 50th among all states.

Michigan’s insured unemployment rate decreased to 10.2%. The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending August 29 were Hawaii (20.3), California (17.3), Nevada (15.6), New York (15.0), Puerto Rico (14.1), Louisiana (13.6), Connecticut (11.9), Georgia (11.9), District of Columbia (11.3), and Massachusetts (11.0).

The Chamber is connecting workers displaced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Several organizations are hiring large numbers of employees. Below you will find openings in essential industries that have ramped up hiring locally. View available jobs.

For more information on unemployment benefits and paid leave, visit the Chamber’s unemployment benefits and paid leave resource page.


Since mid-March, over 1.8 million people in Michigan have filed unemployment insurance claims. For the most recent week filed of September 12, 2020, advanced figures show initial unemployment insurance claims decreased 2.5% to 17,392 initial claims.


Advance continued claims for the week ending September 5, 2020 were estimated at 439,244 claims for the state of Michigan, a 9% increase over the previous week. Over 557,130 fewer continued claims were seen in the most recent week of reported data, compared to the peak of 996,374 at the first week of May.

Michigan’s 10.2% insured unemployment rate, or the number of individuals receiving unemployment insurance as a percentage of the jobs covered by the unemployment insurance system, has steadily decreased as the state reopens regions for business operations.

Michigan’s August 2020 monthly unemployment rate remained at 8.7%, unchanged from July’s unemployment rate of 8.7%. The national unemployment decreased in August to 8.4%, placing Michigan’s unemployment rate 0.3 percentage points above the nation. For context, Michigan’s peak unemployment rate during the Great Recession reached 15.4% in July 2009.

Unemployment Rates by County


Michigan monthly payroll jobs increased by 103,200 in July 2020, after a decrease by over 1 million in April 2020 – the lowest level in the state since prior to 1990. The previous largest monthly job cut since 1990 occurred in January 2009, with a seasonally adjusted reduction of 100,000 jobs. Industry sectors across the state experienced job losses due to pandemic related shutdowns.

As of July 2020, manufacturing jobs increased by 9,400 over the previous month. Over the past twelve months, manufacturing industry employment has cut 66, 500 jobs. Leisure and hospitality saw a large decrease in jobs during the month of April (-236,900). Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry increased by 28,300 in July.

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