Unemployment Decreases throughout Southeastern Michigan

  • The unemployment rate decreased at the State and local level(monthly);
  • Regionally, Washtenaw County’s unemployment rate remains the lowest;
  • The average 30-year mortgage interest rate in Detroit is higher than the national average, lower than the week the federal interest rate was increased;
  • The Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area shows home prices continue to increase monthly and annually.

According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan decreased slightly to 5 percent in March of 2017 from 5.3 percent the previous month. The City of Detroit’s rate also decreased, but at a slightly larger rate. In March 2017, the City of Detroit’s unemployment rate was 10.3 percent, a substantial cut from February’s 12 percent. Additionally, unemployment in the City of Detroit decreased from to 11 percent in March of 2016 to 10.3 percent in 2017.

The chart above displays the unemployment rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for March of 2016 and 2017. St. Clair County had the highest unemployment rate for both 2016 and 2017 (7.1 and 6.2, respectively) while Washtenaw County had the lowest rates (3.1 and 2.8, respectively). St. Clair County and Wayne counties were the only two in the region with unemployment rates at or above 6 in March for both years. St. Clair County also had the largest unemployment rate decrease between March 2016 and 2017 at .9; Monroe County had the lowest at .1.

Four of the seven counties (Livingston, Monroe, Oakland and Washtenaw) all had unemployment rates at or below 5 for March of 2017.

Above are three average 30-year mortgage interest rates at the national, state and local levels for the week of May 15, 2017. These rates were provided by bankrate.com, which does a national survey of large lenders on a weekly basis. As a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the most traditional type of home financing, this was chosen to show the rate differences. The State of Michigan had the lowest average interest rate for the week of May 15, 2017 at 3.82, which was lower than the last time we examined that data (week of May 20, 2017 the rate was 4.14 percent). Also during the week of May 15, 2017 Detroit’s average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was higher than the national average; this was not the case during the week of March 20, 2017. During the week of May 15, 2017 Detroit’s average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.12 and the national average was 4.02.

Compared to two months ago, when the Federal Reserve Raised the federal interest rate by .25 percent, mortgage rates at the local (Detroit), state (Michigan) and national level are lower. While the rates are currently lower, the federal interest rate increase is expected to impact credit products, such as mortgages and auto loans, in addition to savings, home equity lines of credit and credit cards.

The above charts show the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been remodeled.

According to the index, the average price of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $111,790 in February 2017; this was $940 higher than the average family dwelling price in January. Also, the February 2017 price was an increase of $8,440 from February of 2016 and an increase of $14,720 from February of 2015 and an increase of $18,370 from February of 2014.

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