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Michigan Labor Market Review – July 2022

Michigan Labor Market Review – July 2022

September 16, 2022

Jacqueline Barton

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Michigan Labor Market Review

July Data - September Reporting

A RESOURCE PROVIDED FOR EMPLOYERS IN THE GREATER MICHIANA AREA

MICHIGAN’S LABOR FORCE, EMPLOYMENT, AND UNEMPLOYMENT

Michigan’s labor market has demonstrated a much-improved economy since the height of the pandemic in 2020. Multiple labor market indicators displayed the ongoing recovery in 2021 from the impact of the pandemic the prior year. This section will analyze some of the state’s broad workforce measures such as the unemployment rate, total employment, and labor force, as well as review some of the statistics for those marginally attached to the workforce along with the types of workers who leave their jobs

Unemployment Rate

Michigan’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics program (LAUS) provides economic indicators for the state, including official unemployment rate estimates. An examination of annual average jobless rates for the 10-year period between 2011 and 2021 reveals the significant advancement in the state’s jobless rate during 2020 as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent start of recovery in 2021. Between 2011 and 2019 Michigan’s annual unemployment rate displayed a downward trend, receding by 5.9 percentage points over those eight years. The jobless rate jumped considerably in 2020, back up to 10.0 percent in 2020. Between 2020 and 2021, Michigan’s jobless rate receded by 4.1 percentage points, from 10.0 percent to 5.9 percent. It has continued this downward trend in the first half of 2022, showing a six-month average unemployment rate of 4.5 percent.

A comparison of historical Michigan and national annual jobless rates demonstrates that, apart from the period between 1994 to 2000, Michigan’s unemployment rates were higher than the national rates. Between 2001 and 2016, the largest gap between the Michigan and national rate occurred in 2009 as a result of the Great Recession, with Michigan’s jobless rate exceeding the U.S. rate by 3.8 percentage points. For the five-year period between 2017 and 2021, Michigan’s jobless rates were very similar to the U.S. rates. Both rates jumped up significantly in 2020, with Michigan’s annual average rate hitting 10.0 percent, while the national rate only reached 8.1 percent. Michigan’s 2021 annual average rate of 5.9 percent was six-tenths of a percentage point larger than the national 2021 rate.

Employment

The total number of employed individuals includes a combination of payroll employment, agricultural jobs, unpaid family workers, as well as the self-employed. After nine consecutive years of annual employment advances, Michigan’s annual average employment total dropped substantially by 404,000, or 9.3 percent, during 2020. This was the largest employment decline seen in the state during the twenty-year period from 2001 to 2021, even exceeding the large employment decrease of 6.9 percent in the state during the Great Recession in 2009.

Between 2020 and 2021 Michigan’s annual average employment total advanced by 134,000, or 3.0 percent. However, employment remained 270,000 or 5.7 percent, below the pre[1]pandemic employment level in 2019. This was also 473,000 or 9.5 percent, below Michigan’s peak employment level in 2000.

Workforce

An examination of the state workforce from 2011 to 2021 reveals that, with the notable exceptions of 2020 and 2021, the state workforce generally advanced from 2011 to 2019. From 2011 to 2019, Michigan’s workforce rose by 300,000, or 6.4 percent. Between 2019 and 2020 the state’s workforce fell by 123,000, or 2.5 percent. Michigan’s labor force declined even more during 2021 by an additional 70,000, or 1.4 percent. However, the average workforce from January through June in 2022 has trended upward, and was 1.1 percent above the labor force level in 2021.

Labor Force Participation Rates

The labor force participation rate is an important indicator that has historically correlated with the availability of jobs in the labor market. It is defined as the number of individuals in the labor force as a percentage of the 16-and-older non-institutionalized population.

An examination of annual labor force participation rates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey (CPS) from 2000 to 2021 demonstrates that rates since 2010 have remained notably below participation rates seen in the early 2000s.

Between 2020 and 2021 the annual participation rate declined by 1.9 percentage points to 58.8 percent. This was the lowest labor force participation rate seen in the 21-year period since 2000. It is likely that Michigan’s population of those 65 years of age and older will increase in future years, impacting the labor force participation rate by pushing it down further as this demographic ages out of the workforce.

A breakdown of labor force participation rates by gender during 2020 and 2021 shows that male labor force participation exceeded female labor force participation during both years. Between 2020 and 2021, male labor force participation fell by 1.5 percentage points. Female labor force participation receded by even more, reducing by 2.2 percentage points during 2021. The 2021 male labor force participation rate exceeded the female labor force participation rate by 9.7 percentage points. This was below the average gap in participation rates observed between both genders between 2011 and 2019 of 10.7 percentage points.

Unemployment

The number of unemployed persons includes Michigan residents who are not currently working but are actively seeking employment. Individuals who are not actively looking for work are not counted as unemployed, but instead are considered as out of the labor force.

As Michigan’s economy recovered from impact of the Great Recession, the number of unemployed in the state continuously decreased between 2011 and 2019, falling by 264,000, or 56.5 percent. The COVID-19 recession in 2020 caused joblessness to expand exponentially between 2019 and 2020 by 281,000, or 138.4 percent.

During 2021, the number of unemployed in the state receded considerably since the height of the recession, reducing by 204,000, or 42.1 percent. Michigan’s 2021 unemployment level remained 77,000, or 37.9 percent, above the 2019 pre-pandemic annual unemployment total.

Marginally Attached to the Labor Force

The Current Population Survey (CPS) provides information about Michigan residents who are marginally attached to the workforce. Individuals who are considered marginally attached to the labor force are defined as persons who want a job, but are not currently working, and have not searched for work during the prior month but have looked for a job during the prior year.

An examination of the annual number of marginally attached in Michigan for the 10-year period between 2011 and 2021 reveals a general decline. During 2021, the number of marginally attached persons in Michigan was 49,400. This was 18,800, or 27.6 percent, below the amount of marginally attached in the state during 2020. Michigan’s 2021 level of marginally attached was below the ten-year peak seen in 2011 by 61,100, or 55.3 percent.

Persons on Temporary Layoff

Persons on temporary layoff in the Current Population Survey include people who are currently unemployed and have been given a date to return to work as well as those who expect to return to work during the next six months. Analysis of temporary layoff data for Michigan from 2011 to 2021 reveals the pronounced impact of the pandemic on persons on temporary layoff during 2020 as well as the subsequent commencement of the recovery in 2021. Between 2019 and 2020, Michigan individuals on temporary layoff expanded by 249,000, or over 600 percent. During 2021, temporary layoffs receded to 66,800, falling by 219,000, or 76.7 percent since 2020. While the number of people on temporary layoff in 2021 was still elevated compared to the previous decade, this number has continued to decline during the first six months of 2022

Permanent Job Losers

In addition to those on temporary layoff, the CPS also collects data on permanent job losers. These are people whose employment ended involuntarily. The number of individuals on temporary layoff and the amount of permanent job losers together make up the total amount of job losers in the CPS.

Between 2011 and 2018, the amount of permanent job losers in Michigan progressively decreased, culminating in a 10-year low level of 31,200 during 2018. Permanent job losers advanced by 6,600, or 21.2 percent, during 2019, and then advanced by another 27,700, or 73.3 percent, during 2020. The increase in the number of permanent job losers during 2020 was largely influenced by the pandemic’s impact on Michigan’s labor market. Between 2020 and 2021, the amount of permanent job losers in the state edged up by an additional 5,300, or 8.1 percent. However, the first six months of 2022 demonstrated a drop in the average amount of permanent job losers in the state, with job losers receding by 28,700, or 40.5 percent since 2021 annual.

Job Leavers

The Current Population Survey defines job leavers as unemployed individuals who voluntarily left their previous job and began searching for new employment. The percentage of unemployed who are characterized as job leavers can provide additional information on the health of the statewide economy. When the unemployment rate is low, people may be more likely to voluntarily leave their current job for new employment opportunities.

An examination of annual average Michigan Current Population Survey data over the 10- year period between 2011 and 2021 displays an inverse relationship between the statewide unemployment rate and the percentage share of the unemployed who are job leavers. The highest jobless rate in Michigan during this 10-year period occurred during 2011, due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession. The percent of job leavers was 5.1 percent, the second-lowest percent during this 10-year period. During 2020, the lowest percentage of job leavers occurred (2.8 percent), largely due to the pandemic’s impact on Michigan’s labor market. In 2021, the CPS unemployment rate receded by 4.1 percentage points. Consecutively, the percentage of job leavers in the state advanced by 6.0 percentage points to 8.8 percent, further demonstrating the inverse relationship between the two data points.

Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment

The Current Population Survey collects data about the employment status of Michigan’s civilian population age 25 years and older by educational attainment. Analysis of this data for the 10-year period from 2011 to 2021 reveals that those with a bachelor’s degree or higher consistently had the lowest jobless rates out of the four education categories tracked in the CPS.

Between 2020 and 2021, jobless rates for all four education categories receded. The largest annual jobless rate reduction was observed for those with less than a high school education, with the unemployment rate decreasing by 6.0 percentage points since 2020. Annual jobless rates for all four educational groups in 2021 still remained elevated above 2019 levels.

Conclusion

Michigan’s labor market exhibited marked improvement between 2020 and 2021 as a result of the recovery from the height of the pandemic. Advances in employment and decreases in unemployment resulted in a lower annual jobless rate during 2021. The amount of those on temporary layoff declined notably over the year as well, though permanent job losers remained elevated since 2019. The state’s workforce decreased by 193,000, or 3.9 percent, in 2021, but early indications in the first six months of 2022 show the workforce is rising again.

SHIBANI PUTATUNDA

Economic Specialist

JOB TRENDS BY INDUSTRY

Regional and local economies have experienced much in recent years. Beginning with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early part of 2020 followed by the economic recovery during 2021, the labor market trends of both statewide and regional industries have fluctuated significantly.

In order to better understand such changing economic landscapes, analyzing the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data published by the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, is imperative.

This section will provide an analysis of Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobs including the 2021 annual average job change for the state. Additionally, a review of job trends will be covered for Michigan’s major industry sectors, both before the COVID-19 pandemic, and how each industry has rebounded since the initial shock to the workforce.

Current Statewide Nonfarm Job Trends

Michigan nonfarm payroll jobs continued to rebound since April 2020 job level lows, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic-related employment decline however, total nonfarm jobs had grown steadily between  the Great Recession job low in July 2009 through February 2020, where jobs increased by 621,200 or 16.2 percent. Despite this decade-long job gain, total statewide jobs were still 5.1 percent below their June 2000 all-time high (4,694,100).

Due mainly to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, by April 2020, total nonfarm jobs in Michigan had plummeted by an unprecedented amount (-1,053,300 or 23.7 percent). Comparatively, total nonfarm employment on the nationwide level also fell significantly between February and April of 2020 (-14.4 percent), but at a markedly lesser magnitude than Michigan.

Strong job recovery has been noted throughout the past two years on both the nonfarm and industry sector level. As of June 2022, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment in Michigan had rebounded substantially and was only 125,600 or 2.8 percent below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level.

The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented effects in nearly every industry in every state. Between February and April 2020, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs in Michigan declined by the largest percent among all 50 states (-23.7 percent). Furthermore, only six states recorded a total payroll job cut of 20.0 percent or more during the two-month timeframe between February and April of 2020.

However, as of June 2022, Michigan recovered 88.1 percent (+927,700) of all nonfarm payroll employment lost between February to April 2020, which ranked 33rd in the share of total jobs recovered. A total of 15 states, led by Utah (+162.9 percent), Idaho (+155.5 percent), and Texas (+132.1 percent), have now surpassed their February 2020 pre-pandemic total nonfarm job levels.

Michigan Annual Average Payroll Employment

Statewide annual average total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 154,200 or 3.8 percent between 2020 and 2021, according to the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey. Prior to the previous year’s decline (-403,500 or 9.1 percent), annual average nonfarm payroll jobs were at their highest level since 2002.

Nationally, payroll jobs moved up by only 2.8 percent on an annual average basis between 2020 and 2021, noticeably less than Michigan. Again, this was due mainly to the fact that Michigan lost significantly more jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 than the United States. Consequently, during 2021, Michigan recorded annual job advancement rates that exceeded national averages across most major industry sectors.

Due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic, substantial job cuts were recorded in every major industry sector in both Michigan and the United States on an annual average basis between 2019 and 2020. However, since 2021, annual average jobs have rebounded in nearly every major industry sector on both levels. Notable upticks were recorded in several major industry sectors in Michigan and the United States, including Leisure and hospitality; Professional and business services; and Trade, transportation, and utilities. Despite these increases, jobs continued to stay below 2019 annual average job levels.

Nationally, Government jobs increased slightly more than in Michigan between 2020 and 2021, rising by 0.1 percent, whereas Michigan recorded a 1.3 percent decline, on an annual average basis. Additionally, the only other nationwide major industry sector opposite the 2021 trend in Michigan was the Mining and logging sector, which declined by 5.7 percent versus a 3.8 percent increase in Michigan.

Job Trends in Michigan's Major Industry Sectors

Significant job loss occurred in every major industry sector in Michigan during the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, nearly three-fourths of the total nonfarm employment decline was recorded in only four of Michigan’s 14 major industry sectors between February and April 2020. These major industries included Leisure and hospitality; Manufacturing; Trade, transportation, and utilities; and Professional and business services.

Conversely, as of June 2022, notable job rebounds have occurred in a multitude of statewide major industry sectors. Several major Michigan industry sectors have surpassed their February 2020 pre-pandemic level, including Mining and logging; Trade, transportation, and utilities; Information; Financial activities; and Professional and business services. These five major industries have combined for 57.0 percent of the seasonally adjusted nonfarm job gain since April 2020. On the nationwide level, seven major industry sectors: Construction; Manufacturing; Trade, transportation, and utilities; Retail trade; Information; Financial activities; and Professional and business services, recorded job levels that surpassed their February 2020 pre-pandemic levels.

Many major industry subsectors were also affected substantially by pandemic-related layoffs over the past years. Mainly due to extensive layoffs during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment within the Accommodation and food services subsector decreased by 211,800 or 55.4 percent, between February and April 2020. However, as of June 2022, many regional restaurants have since re-opened and the industry has now recovered about 81 percent of jobs lost since the onset of the pandemic.

The Durable goods subsector also plunged by an unprecedented amount at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, declining by 188,300 or 40.3 percent between February and April 2020. As of June 2022 however, total jobs in this subsector had recovered about 93.2 percent of all jobs that were lost from February to April 2020. Furthermore, the essential Transportation equipment manufacturing subsector, which includes industries such as Motor vehicle and Motor vehicle parts manufacturing, also lost (-115,000), but has since recovered (99.9 percent) nearly all jobs that were lost between February and April 2020. Massive job loss occurred initially due to short-term shutdowns among auto assembly plants and auto parts facilities but later continued into 2021 due to plant shutdowns and layoffs related to the global semiconductor shortage.

Total employment loss within the Retail trade (-110,900 or 23.9 percent) subsector contributed a majority of the job decline in the larger Trade, transportation, and utilities (-162,300 or 20.4 percent) sector between February to April 2020. Job cuts were substantial across this sector due to temporary layoffs and numerous store closures during the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as of June 2022, nearly 90 percent of total jobs lost in this Michigan industry have since been recovered.

As of June 2022, Michigan had recovered 88.1 percent (+927,700) of total nonfarm jobs that were lost between February and April 2020, well below the national rate of 97.6 percent for the same time period. Nationally, industry[1]wide recovery outpaced Michigan in most areas, as nine of the 14 major industry sectors recorded higher recovery rates between April 2020 and June 2022 on the nationwide level. Only the Michigan Mining and logging; Trade, transportation, and utilities; Financial activities; and Other services sectors outpaced their national industry counterparts.

Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Job Change

Following the sharp employment drops among Michigan’s major industry sectors in April 2020, substantial pandemic-related job declines were also recorded in Michigan’s 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) between February and April 2020. However, as of June 2022, job levels in most metro areas have seen notable improvement.

Not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by over 20.0 percent in 11 of Michigan’s 14 metro areas on a percentage basis, between February and April 2020. Smaller job reductions were recorded in both the Ann Arbor (-16.5 percent) and Midland (-16.8 percent) MSAs during this same time frame. Equivalent to the rebound observed on the statewide level, nonfarm payroll jobs have also moved up gradually since April 2020.

As of June 2022, four metro areas in Michigan recovered 90.0 percent or more of total jobs lost between February and April 2020, including Bay City, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon. Conversely, four metro areas remained notably lower in their recorded rates of recovery since April 2020. The Battle Creek, Jackson, Niles-Benton Harbor, and Saginaw MSAs recovered between 71.0 to 78.2 percent of total jobs initially lost during the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion

Overall, industry jobs in Michigan have been moving in a positive direction since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a total employment decline of over one million between February 2020 and April 2020, total nonfarm payroll jobs have gradually rebounded, recovering nearly 90 percent of all jobs lost, as of June 2022. Although a majority of statewide industries have not reached their February 2020 pre-pandemic job levels, many sectors and subsectors have increased notably since April 2020. Additionally, even though national recovery rates continued to outpace several statewide industry recovery rates, it is important to note that Michigan lost a larger share of jobs in all of its major industry sectors on a percentage basis between February 2020 and April 2020, than did the United States.

JIM BIRNEY

Economic Analyst

WAGES

Wage growth is a key indicator of labor market health, and since the initial impacts of the pandemic recession in 2020, Michigan’s workers have shown increased earnings in many areas. In general, wages have seen substantial increases in jobs and industries that typically pay lower wages, while higher-earning occupations and industries recorded less wage growth. This section will provide additional detail on Michigan’s wage growth trends by industry, occupation, and educational attainment by comparing pre[1]pandemic, peak-pandemic, and current data.

Average Hourly Earnings By Industry

With the exception of April 2020 in which pandemic job losses of low-wage jobs caused a spike in average hourly earnings, wages have trended upward at a fairly stable rate in recent years.

Average hourly earnings data from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program showed wage growth across the private sector over the year. From June 2021 to June 2022, private sector average hourly earnings advanced by 4.3 percent, moving from $28.55 to $29.77.  All but one major industry experienced wage growth from June 2021 to June 2022. The largest rise in wages during this time occurred in the Leisure and hospitality sector, as average hourly earnings increased 11.1 percent from $16.34 to $18.15. This is the highest average hourly earnings level in the Leisure and hospitality industry in the past ten years of available data, and only the second time that it has risen above $18 dollars ($18.10 in April 2022). Other sectors with notable wage advancement included Education and health services (+8.7 percent), Other services (+ 8.5 percent), and Information (+5.6 percent). The Financial services sector was the only major industry to report a reduction in average hourly earnings, as wages fell from $34.53 to $33.83 (-2.0 percent).

Total Wages for Industries

In 2021, Michigan’s private sector total wages were $222.1 billion, a 9.0 percent increase from 2020, but slightly lower than the national rise (+10.2 percent) over the same period. Since the peak of the pandemic’s impact in the second quarter of 2020, total private wages recorded double-digit growth in three out of six quarters (Figure 1).

When comparing total wages paid within each industry in 2021, the Manufacturing sector had the greatest increase in total wages paid, rising +2.7 billion (+7.0 percent) from 2020 after declining by 3.5 billion (-8.4 percent) from 2019 to 2020. Professional and technical services had the second largest over-the-year growth, gaining 2.6 billion (9.8 percent), followed by Retail trade (+1.8 billion or 12.3 percent), Administrative and waste services (+1.7 billion or 16.9 percent), and Construction (+1.2 billion or 11.3 percent).

On a percentage basis, Accommodation and food services had the largest bump in total wages paid in 2021, climbing 21.9 percent (+1.2 billion). This is a sizeable shift compared to the total wages lost in the initial year of the pandemic, when this sector’s total wages fell -21.6 percent (-1.5 billion).

Arts, entertainment, and recreation had the second largest percent growth in total wages paid in 2021, showing a 13.3 percent (+193 million) rise over the year. This industry’s gain was another huge turnaround compared it’s previous year’s loss of -20.9 percent (-380 million) in total wages.

Number of Job Earning Below Certain Dollar Increments

There were about 1,263,000 jobs paying $15 per hour or less in Michigan in 2021, just over 30 percent of all occupations. There were also roughly 520,000 jobs paying $12 per hour or less, nearly 13 percent of all jobs. The most common occupations earning under $12 were Fast food and counter workers; Cashiers; Retail salespersons; and Home health and personal care aides. These four occupations accounted for about 40 percent of all jobs earning under $12 per hour. These same four occupations were still the most prevalent jobs earning under $15 per hour, however they made up only 27 percent of all occupations in that range. These are also four of the largest occupations by employment in Michigan, so they will always hold a high proportion of jobs in whatever category they are in.

Comparing the makeup of occupations earning hourly wages under $12 to those earning under $15, there were several occupational groups that had big increases in their proportion of workers. Production; Office and administrative support; Educational instruction and library; and Protective service occupations all had less than 10 percent of their jobs earning under $12 per hour, but had about one quarter of their jobs earning under $15.

There were also many occupations that had very few jobs earning under $12 per hour, but began to show some prevalence when viewing occupations earning less than $15 per hour. Nursing assistants; Tellers; Pharmacy technicians; and First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers were occupations with over 10,000 employees in Michigan. These occupations all had less than 10 percent of their jobs earning under $12 per hour but had over 40 percent of their jobs earning under $15.

There were 1,990,000 jobs earning under $20 per hour in Michigan in 2021, almost half of all jobs. Compared to the number of workers earning under $15 per hour, the occupational groups of Office and administrative support and Production roughly doubled the proportion of workers earning under $20. Educational instruction and library and Protective service occupations had much smaller proportional increases between these two wage thresholds, showing that there is a divide between the low-wage occupations and the high-wage occupations within these groups.

The industries with the most jobs earning under $12 per hour were Food services and drinking places; Administrative and support services; and Educational services. These industries, along with Food and beverage stores; and General merchandise stores consisted of the most jobs earning under $15 and $20 as well.

The number of jobs paying less than $10 per hour essentially disappeared in 2021. Overall, there was a decreased share of jobs paying less than $10 per hour or more than $50 per hour, highlighting the wage growth seen primarily in low-wage occupations. In contrast, the share of jobs paying between $10 and $50 increased for most groups of wages. In particular, the proportion of jobs providing between $45 and $50 nearly doubled, while those with wages between $35 and $40 also rose significantly.

Figure 3 illustrates the shift in the wage distribution for Michigan that contributed to the overall increase in statewide median wage.

Median Wages and Employment

Michigan’s 2021 median wage of $21.73 was a 10.5 percent rise from 2020. This growth was attributed primarily to the return of jobs lost during the pandemic in occupations earning above the median wage, meanwhile lower-wage occupations recovered at a much slower rate.

The occupational groups with the largest boost in wages generally had earnings below the statewide median wage and had slow or negative employment growth. This is illustrated on the left side of Figure 4, which shows the three occupation groups with the largest wage growth in 2021.

Occupational groups with the largest employment percentage growth saw small or negative wage growth, and generally had higher median wages (right side of Figure 4). Increasing wages among occupations earning lower hourly rates, along with the employment gains of professions with higher earnings, has contributed to the growth of the overall statewide median wage.

The wage range measures the difference in hourly wage between the 10th and 90th percentile. Michigan’s 2021 wage range fell between $11.48 and $47.49, meaning that 80 percent of workers in the state earn between these wages. Between 2020 and 2021 the 10th percentile lower-bound increased by nearly 5 percent, while the 90th percentile upper-bound increased less than one percent, again highlighting that wages are increasing faster for lower wage jobs.

Wage by Educational Attainment

Figure 5 shows the wage ranges (10th to 90th percentile) for occupations by typical entry-level education requirements. In general, workers with higher education levels had higher starting wages and career earning potential. Having a bachelor’s degree doubled the median wage when compared to jobs requiring a high school diploma or equivalent; however, in 2021, the range of pay for occupations requiring a high school diploma or less increase more than jobs requiring more education. Both the wage range for occupations typically requiring a high school diploma or no formal educational credentials had an increase of about 6 percent over 2020. The group of jobs requiring beyond high school education had very little change in their wage range. Despite the wage advantage for jobs with additional education requirements, the jobs requiring only a high school education or less had a more notable upward wage shift over the year.

 

Conclusion

Many of Michigan’s industries and occupations have seen substantial wage growth as they continued to rebound from pandemic related losses. Michigan’s total private sector wages have grown in recent years, totaling $222.1 billion in 2021, up 9.0 percent from 2020. The state’s median wage increased by 10.5 percent to $21.73 in 2021, driven by a slower return of jobs earning below the median wage, coupled with a faster increase of employment in higher paid occupations. Occupational data for 2021 showed a continued trend of higher education equating to higher pay. With a few exceptions, overall, the data shows steady wage growth for Michigan across many industries, occupations, and levels of education.

CHRIS HOLMAN

Economic Analyst

KRYSTAL JONES

Economic Analyst

ALONZIA STEPHENS

Economic Analyst

ROB WALKOWICZ

Economic Program Manager

YAN XU

Economic Analyst

Disclaimer

The Above Information was created and disseminated by the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget and the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives from the State of Michigan.  Specialized Staffing does not hold any rights or ownership to this content.  For more information, please contact your Michigan Bureau of Labor Representative. 

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