Jobless rate down slightly in Delta County

ESCANABA – The November jobless rate was down slightly in Delta County, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Delta County’s unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in November compared to 9 percent in October. The jobless rate in November 2012 was 8.2 percent.

The jobless rate rose to 12.8 percent in Schoolcraft County in November. The rate was 12.2 percent in October and 11.2 percent a year ago.

Unemployment in Menominee County was unchanged at 6.5 percent. The jobless rate was 6.4 percent a year ago.

Overall, the unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula edged up in November to 9 percent, a monthly increase of 0.4 of a percentage point. During the month, unemployment rates rose in nine of the Upper Peninsula’s 15 counties, with monthly advances ranging widely from 0.2 of a percentage point (Dickinson County), to 9.9 percentage points (Mackinac County). Above average November unemployment rate hikes were also posted by Keweenaw and Alger counties, up by 6.8 and 1.4 percentage points, respectively. Among the five counties reporting jobless rate declines, Baraga and Houghton counties had the largest drops at -0.7 and -0.5 percentage points, respectively.

During November, the lowest jobless rate in the Upper Peninsula was recorded by Menominee County at 6.5 percent, followed by Marquette and Dickinson counties at 7.1 and 7.2 percent, respectively. Mackinac County reported the highest November jobless rate in the Upper Peninsula of 15.8 percent. High jobless rates were also observed in Keweenaw County (15.4 percent) and Baraga County (15.3 percent).

Job reductions in November in the Upper Peninsula are usually due to seasonal reasons and often occur in the construction, accommodation and food service and recreational service industries.

A good measure of overall 2013 unemployment rate trends is a comparison of the January-November averages for 2013 versus the same period in 2012. The U.P. unemployment rate through the first 11 months of 2013 was 9.4 percent, slightly higher than the January-November 2012 rate of 9.1 percent. Over this period, jobless rates in 10 of 15 U.P. counties recorded an increase, with the most notable gains reported in Keweenaw County (1.2 percentage points) and Schoolcraft County (1.0 percentage point). The only U.P. county reporting a significant jobless rate reduction based on the 11-month 2013 average was Menominee County (-0.6 of a percentage point).

The Upper Peninsula’s not seasonally adjusted November 2013 unemployment rate of 9 percent was above the Michigan rate of 7.8 percent, and considerably higher than the national rate of 6.6 percent.