The condition of the labor market is perhaps the best barometer of the current economic situation. That is because of the many government data points reported on the health of the economy, employment tends to be the most up-to-date. Other significant measures of the economy, like income and gross domestic product are largely reported with significant time lags. There are many measures of labor market conditions and the most up to date is the weekly new and continuing claims reports that only covers those workers filing claims against state unemployment insurance. We track claims to unemployment here. On this page, we report on total non-farm employment, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These estimates are derived from survey and while current (less than one-month lag), they are subject to revisions. Employment projections make up a core component of the MSU Economic Forecast Model.
The graph below provides a long-term comparison of State, city and National non-agricultural employment growth. All series are measured as the total growth, in percent, from January 2010. Clearly represented in the graph is the devastating effect COVID-19 had on employment. COVID-19 erased five years of employment growth for the Nation and about nine years for the State. The impact has been most severe for Lansing and Flint, as current employment levels are approximately equal to or less than those in 2010. That is, they have had 10 years with no employment growth to show.
The last table shows the breakout of employment by industry for the State. This detailed data is generally released about 45 days after the end of the month, so is not as up to date as total employment.