Jobless rate drops in May
MANISTIQUE – The unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula edged down in May by 0.3 of a percentage point to 9.5 percent. In May, unemployment rates contracted in nine of the U.P.’s 15 counties, including Schoolcraft, where the rate dropped to 12.6 percent from 13.5 percent in April.
Counties with monthly jobless rate increases were primarily in the Western U.P., with the largest advances registered by Houghton and Keweenaw counties, both moving up by 1.0 percentage point.
The jobless rate in Mackinac County plunged in May to 6.1 percent, the lowest in the U.P. Below average rates also occurred in Menominee and Dickinson counties at 6.6 and 7.7 percent, respectively. Baraga County recorded the highest jobless rate in Michigan in May at 17.6 percent. Above average rates were also posted in Ontonagon County (15.3 percent) and Keweenaw County (14.5 percent).
As expected, a seasonal employment advance occurred in the U.P. during May, with the arrival of the tourism and recreation season. Seasonal job gains are usually reported in May in sectors such as construction, transportation, recreation, and accommodation and food services.
Over the past year, the U.P. unemployment rate moved up by 0.6 of a percentage point. Since May 2012, jobless rates rose in 13 of the 15 regional counties. The largest over-the-year rate advances were registered in Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties, up by 2.5 and 1.7 percentage points, respectively.
The U.P.’s jobless rate of 9.5 percent was above the Michigan rate of 8.4 percent, and well above the national rate of 7.3 percent.