Bridget Vis| Crain’s Talent Report

Southeast Michigan’s unemployment rate decreased by 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, according to a report released Monday by the Workforce Intelligence Network.

The unemployment rate in the first quarter fell from 10 percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent this year, which is the lowest rate reported for the quarter since 2008.

In addition, it is one of the first quarters in several years where an increase in employment is the major cause of the decline of the unemployment rate, as opposed to a decrease in the labor force, according to a report summary.

Employment grew 2.1 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, and 3.7 percent since the first quarter of 2012, although there have been fluctuations.

The labor force, which had been in decline since 2009, grew by .4 percent from the first quarter of 2013.

WIN also found that online job postings increased 12 percent during the first quarter of 2014 from the fourth quarter of last year and 91 percent from a year ago.

Health care (76.9 percent), retail and hospitality (72.3 percent), and engineers and designers (58.7 percent) had the greatest annual increases in job postings.

The area’s top job postings during the first quarter were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (5,227), software developers (4,320), retail salespersons (4,048) and registered nurses (3,514).

To obtain its data, WIN analyzes job postings on, CareerBuilder and Craigslist, among other job sites.

Bridget Vis: (313) 446-0315,

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