LANSING, MI –
Michigan gained thousands of new jobs last month, but the April unemployment rate remained virtually unchanged at 14%. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, that's a drop of merely one-tenth of a percentage point from the March rate.
Thousands of new jobs, mostly in retail, were filled by a surge of people joining the workforce, leaving roughly the same number - 681,000 -- unemployed but looking for work. Manufacturing employees worked more hours in April, but factories did little new hiring.
Bruce Weaver is with the state Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth.
"Michigan's labor market remained very tight," he says. "The unemployment rate remains quite high."
When people who've quit looking for jobs, or part-timers who want full-time work are counted, Michigan's rate of unemployment and under-unemployment is 21.7%.
While Michigan is not losing jobs at the rate it was a year ago, economists predict the overall trend of job losses will continue into next year before real job gains begin late in 2011.