Michigan's unemployment rate in May edged slightly higher in part due to more people returning to the workforce as the perception of an improving economy took hold.
The rate in May rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.5%, according to data released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
The number of seasonably adjusted jobs reported by major employers in the state declined slightly in May by 5,000. Job cuts were recorded in manufacturing (down 4,000) and professional and business services (down 3,000). Job gains were posted in financial activities (up 3,000), and trade, transportation, and utilities (up 3,000).
The slight changes meant that the state's labor market remained more or less steady in May. A slight uptick in the unemployment rate was not a surprise because as more people re-enter the workforce looking for jobs as the economy improves they tend to drive up the rate at least temporarily.
"Michigan's labor market in May and throughout early 2012 has been stable," said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "The minor upturn in the state's jobless rate in May was partially due to individuals entering or reentering the workforce looking for jobs."
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