Michigan's unemployment rate crept up to 10.3 percent in May, pushed higher by the loss of 8,000 government jobs and 3,000 in education and health services.
The seasonally adjusted figures released Wednesday by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget show an increase of 0.1 percentage points since April. The state figure remains above the national rate of 9.1 percent.
Public jobs have been under pressure as local governments deal with falling property tax revenues and cuts in state funding. Government has lost more jobs over the past year than any other sector, dropping by 37,000 or 5.7 percent since May 2010, according to state figures. Some of the decrease came when temporary census jobs disappeared last year, with lost local government jobs making up most of the rest of the drop.
Michigan has gained 33,000 nonfarm payroll jobs since May 2010, a figure that includes the 13,000 lost last month. Private sector jobs have increased by 70,000 in the past 12 months while the number of government jobs has shrunk.
"The state's labor market improved significantly throughout 2010 into early 2011," said Rick Waclawek, of the state's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "However, since February 2011, Michigan's unemployment rate has been essentially flat."
Michigan saw a gain of 4,000 construction jobs in May, the first increase in that sector since January. Manufacturing added 1,000.
It also lost 5,000 leisure and hospitality jobs, the biggest drop in that sector so far this year. The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 2,000 jobs, as did financial activities. Professional and business services lost 1,000 jobs, a small tick downward for a sector that has seen the largest growth in the state since May 2010.
May marked the second consecutive monthly decline in statewide payroll jobs, and the month's job total was the lowest so far in 2011.
, Michigan still had far more people employed this year than throughout 2010, state officials said.
Seasonally adjusted average weekly hours and earnings for manufacturing production workers increased over April and for the year.