Delta County, U.P. jobless rate increases

ESCANABA – The unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula rose seasonally by nearly a full percentage point in January to 10.3 percent, according to statistics released by the Michigan Department Of Technology, Management and Budget.

In Delta County, the unemployment rate rose to 10.7 percent, up from 9.6 percent in December. The jobless rate was 10.9 percent a year ago.

Schoolcraft County’s jobless rate was 15.9 percent in January. The unemployment rate was 13.7 percent the previous month and 15.6 percent in January 2012.

Menominee County saw a jobless increase to 7.2 percent. The unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in December and 8 percent in January 2012.

All but one of the Upper Peninsula’s 15 counties posted higher jobless rates during the month of January, with Mackinac County recording the largest rate increase (4.8 percentage points), followed by Schoolcraft County, up 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 (down by just -0.1 of a percentage point to 11.6 percent).

Menominee County (7.2 percent) posted the lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula 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 (18.2 percent), Keweenaw County (16.4 percent) and Schoolcraft County (15.9 percent).

Since January 2012, the Upper Peninsula 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 (-1.6 percentage points) and Baraga County (-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 (+0.3 percentage points) and Iron County (+0.2).

The Upper Peninsula’s not seasonally adjusted January 2013 unemployment rate of 10.3 percent was slightly above the Michigan rate of 9.7 percent, and nearly 2 percentage points above the national rate of 8.5 percent.