2013-03-28 / Front Page

Area jobless rate jumps

Increases in all but 1 U.P. county in Jan.

MANISTIQUE – Schoolcraft County experienced the second largest increase in the number of jobless claims in the Upper Peninsula for the month of January. The unemployment rate for the entire U.P. rose seasonally by nearly a full percentage point in January to 10.3 percent.

All but one of the U.P.’s 15 counties posted higher jobless rates during the month of January, with Mackinac County recording the largest rate increase, at 4.8 percentage points, followed by Schoolcraft County, which increased by 2.2 percentage points. Jobless rate hikes in January were due to typical seasonal job cuts in construction and retail. Only one county – Luce – reported a jobless rate decrease during January. The county moved down by just 0.1 of a percentage point to 11.6 percent.

Menominee County, at 7.2 percent, posted the lowest unemployment rate in the U.P. during January, followed by Marquette and Dickinson counties at 7.9 and 8.3 percent, respectively. Mackinac County posted the highest jobless rate in Michigan in January at 23.1 percent. Above average rates were also recorded in Baraga County at 8.2 percent, Keweenaw County with 16.4 percent and Schoolcraft County at 15.9 percent.

Since January 2012, the U.P. unemployment rate edged down by 0.6 of a percentage point. Over the year, jobless rates contracted in 12 of the 15 regional counties. The largest rate reductions were reported in Alger County, decreasing by 1.6 percentage points and Baraga County moving down 1.3 percentage points. Among the three counties experiencing an increase in jobless rates since January 2012, Keweenaw County had the largest rate jump of 3.1 percentage points, followed by Schoolcraft County, increasing 0.3 percentage points and Iron County moving up 0.2 percentage points.

The U.P.’s January 2013 unemployment rate of 10.3 percent was slightly above the Michigan rate of 9.7 percent, and above the national rate of 8.5 percent.

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