2013-05-09 / Front Page

Area unemployment dips in March

Despite large drop, county remains above state rate

MANISTIQUE – The unemployment rate in Schoolcraft County decreased slightly in March, but remains above average for the state of Michigan. The rate for the entire U.P. decreased in March to 9.9 percent, a drop of 0.6 of a percentage point below February’s rate of 10.5 percent.

During March, all but one of the U.P.’s 15 counties recorded lower jobless rates, although five of these counties posted modest rate reductions of 0.5 percentage points or less. Houghton County showed no rate change for the month.

Among the counties reporting rate declines, Mackinac County had the largest drop at 2.0 percentage points, followed by Schoolcraft and Menominee counties down by 1.0 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively.

March payroll jobs usually edge up slightly in the U.P. with additions in the construction, manufacturing, and retail sectors.

Menominee County in March again recorded the lowest jobless rate in the U.P. (6.4 percent). Other U.P. counties with below average jobless rates included Marquette County (7.8 percent) and Dickinson County (7.9 percent). Mackinac County had the highest jobless rate in Michigan in March at 22.5 percent. Above average rates were also seen in Baraga County (17.9 percent), Schoolcraft County (15.0 percent), Keweenaw County (14.9 percent), and Ontonagon County (14.3 percent).

Since March 2012, the U.P. unemployment rate dropped by a full percentage point. Over the year, jobless rates fell in all 15 regional counties. The largest over-the-year rate reductions were reported in Alger County (1.9 percentage points), Gogebic and Keweenaw counties (1.8 percentage points), and Menominee and Luce counties with downward movements of 1.7 and 1.6 percentage points, respectively.

The U.P.’s not seasonally adjusted March 2013 jobless rate of 9.9 percent was well above the Michigan rate of 8.8 percent and the national rate of 7.6 percent.

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