2013-04-11 / Front Page

Unemployment rises again in February

Area sees jump, now above state average

MANISTIQUE – The Upper Peninsula jobless rate edged up slightly in February to 10.5 percent, a gain of 0.2 of a percentage point over January’s rate of 10.3 percent. Schoolcraft County’s rate rose for the second month in a row, hitting 16.1 percent during the month.

In the month of February, 11 of the Upper Peninsula’s 15 counties posted higher jobless rates, although most increases were modest. Monthly rate gains ranged from 0.1 of a percentage point (Ontonagon and Dickinson counties) to 1.5 percentage points (Mackinac County). February jobless rate reductions were reported in Luce County, down by 0.4 of a percentage point, and Keweenaw County, down by 1.1 percentage points.

Payroll job cuts in the Upper Peninsula in February are usually concentrated in construction and retail.

Menominee County (7.2 percent) registered the lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula during February. Additional UP counties with jobless rates below the Michigan average included Marquette, Dickinson, and Houghton. Mackinac County recorded the highest jobless rate in Michigan in February at 24.6 percent. Above average rates were also posted in Baraga County, Schoolcraft County and Keweenaw County.

Compared to a year ago, the Upper Peninsula unemployment rate fell by 0.4 of a percentage point. Since February 2012, jobless rate changes were mixed with rate reductions in eight of the 15 regional counties. The largest rate cuts were reported in Alger County (1.1 percentage points) and Menominee, Luce and Gogebic counties, all down by 0.7 of a percentage point. Five counties experienced rate hikes. Keweenaw County had the largest increase at 1.4 percentage points, while the jobless rate advances in the remaining four counties ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 of a percentage point.

The Upper Peninsula’s not seasonally adjusted February 2013 unemployment rate of 10.5 percent was higher than Michigan’s average rate of 9.3 percent and the national rate of 8.1 percent.

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