Region’s jobless rate rises

ESCANABA – The jobless rate rose in Delta, Schoolcraft and Menominee counties in January, according to data released Friday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Delta County’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in January, up from 9.7 percent in December. The jobless rate was 11.5 percent a year ago.

In Schoolcraft County, the jobless rate rose to 14 percent, up from 13 percent the previous month. Schoolcraft’s jobless rate a year ago was 15.7 percent.

In Menominee County, the jobless rate was 6.9 percent, up from 6.3 percent in December. The unemployment rate a year ago was 8.2 percent

The unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula displayed little change in January, edging up by 0.2 of a percentage point to 9.7 percent.

Almost half of Upper Peninsula counties reported unemployment rate advances during January. Mackinac County posted the largest rate increase at 3.1 percentage points, followed by Schoolcraft and Chippewa counties, up by 1.0 and 0.8 of a percentage point, respectively. Among the counties experiencing jobless rate reductions, Keweenaw County had the largest drop at -4.0 percentage points followed by Ontonagon and Luce counties with a rate cut of -0.9 and -0.8 percentage points, respectively. The seasonal pattern of unemployment was somewhat unusual in January 2014, as jobless rates generally register larger increases in January.

Menominee County (6.9 percent) posted the lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula during January, followed by Dickinson (7.3 percent) and Marquette (7.8 percent) counties. Mackinac County reported the highest jobless rate in Michigan during January at 22.9 percent. Above average rates were also observed in Schoolcraft County (14.0 percent), Baraga County (13.7 percent), Chippewa County (12.7 percent), and Ontonagon County (12.4 percent). Since January 2013, the Upper Peninsula’s unemployment rate contracted by -1.2 percentage points. Over the year unemployment rates declined in all 15 regional counties. The largest rate reductions were reported in Keweenaw (-6.0 percentage points) and Ontonagon (-3.2 percentage points) counties. Jobless rates were comparable in most U.P. counties from 2012 to 2013.

The Upper Peninsula’s not seasonally adjusted January 2014 unemployment rate of 9.7 percent was higher than Michigan’s 8.1 percent and considerably above the national rate of 7.0 percent.