Michigan's unemployment rate fell slightly in September to 13 percent _ its lowest rate since March 2009.
The decline in unemployment continues a modest trend.
Michigan had the nation's second-highest unemployment rate in August at 13.1 percent, trailing only Nevada, which had a jobless rate of 14.4 percent. Some states have not yet announced their jobless rates for September, but the national rate was 9.6 percent, which was unchanged from August.
Michigan had the nation's highest jobless rate for four straight years until Nevada took the top spot in May.
Michigan's jobless rate has been generally improving since peaking at 14.5 percent in December.
Rick Waclawek, director of the state's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, described Michigan's late summer labor market as "relatively steady."
Overall employment edged upward in September. But the number of seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll jobs declined slightly.
Jobs were lost in education and health services, government, leisure and hospitality services and construction. Michigan gained jobs in manufacturing and professional and business services.
The number of unemployed was listed at 625,000 in September, down from 634,000 in August.
University of Michigan economists forecast that jobs could decline in the last part of this year, but employment gains are expected in 2011 and 2012.
The forecast released earlier this month projects that by the end of 2012, Michigan employment will still be "well short" of a previous peak reached in 2000.
"Although we expect the broad decline in employment to end, the relatively modest pace of job growth will still leave many residents struggling," the forecast read.