2012-08-30 / Front Page

Area unemployment sees spike in July

County ranks among highest rates in U.P. during month

MANISTIQUE – Schoolcraft County was among numerous other Upper Peninsula counties experiencing a rise in the unemployment rate for July. The rate jumped to 11.3 percent from June’s 10.7 percent.

The overall unemployment rate in the U.P. rose slightly to 9.5 percent, edging up by 0.4 of a percentage point over June’s rate. Jobless rates increased in July in 10 of the 15 U.P. counties, with modest rate gains ranging from 0.3 to 0.7 percentage points.

Delta and Luce counties also experienced rate increases, by 0.5 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively.

Alger and Ontonagon counties posted no rate change in July, while Keweenaw, Mackinac, and Gogebic counties each registered reductions in jobless rates in July. Keweenaw County reported the largest drop at 1.9 percentage points.

Michigan’s non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased in July at a faster pace than the U.P., rising by 1.1 percentage points to 10.3 percent.

In July, Mackinac County recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Michigan at 4.2 percent. The highest jobless rate in Michigan was registered by Baraga County at 16.3 percent. Other Upper Peninsula counties with relatively high jobless rates included Ontonagon, Schoolcraft, Gogebic, and Luce counties.

Job advances in July in the U.P. are usually observed in seasonal industry sectors such as construction and accommodation and food services.

Over the past year, the unemployment rate in the U.P. has contracted by 0.6 percentage points. Jobless rates fell in 14 regional counties since July 2011, with the largest rate cuts experienced in Ontonagon, Keweenaw and Baraga counties. Marquette County’s jobless rate remained unchanged over the year, holding steady at 9.2 percent.

The U.P.’s not seasonally adjusted July 2012 unemployment rate of 9.5 percent was lower than Michigan’s average rate of 10.3 percent, but higher than the national rate of 8.6 percent.

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