Jobless rates drop locally

ESCANABA – Jobless rates declined in both Delta and Schoolcraft counties in March, according to data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Delta County’s unemployment rate was 10.1 in March – down from 10.6 the previous month. The jobless rate was 11.3 percent a year ago.

Schoolcraft County’s jobless rate dropped to 14.4 in March, down from 14.8 percent. The unemployment rate was 15.5 percent there a year ago.

The jobless rate rose in Menominee County in March – rising to 8.4 percent from 8.1 percent the previous month. The jobless rate there was 7.6 a year ago.

The Upper Peninsula jobless rate was little changed in March, edging down by 0.2 of a percentage point to 10.4 percent.

Eleven of 15 Upper Peninsula counties registered a jobless rate decline in March. The monthly rate cuts were modest, ranging from -0.1 percentage points (Luce County) to -1.1 percentage points (Mackinac County). Although minor rate gains occurred in three U.P. counties, Menominee County recorded the only measurable increase in the number of unemployed in March.

Employment levels generally rose locally in March, and modest payroll job advances are typically recorded in March in the Upper Peninsula in the construction and health care sectors.

Below average jobless rates in the region in March occurred in Dickinson (8.1 percent), Marquette (8.2 percent), Menominee (8.4 percent), and Houghton (9.1 percent) counties. The highest unemployment rate in Michigan in March was posted in Mackinac County at 23.8 percent. Above average rates were also recorded in Schoolcraft County (14.4 percent), Baraga County (13.9 percent), Ontonagon County (13.4 percent), and Chippewa County (13.0 percent).

Since March 2013, the Upper Peninsula’s unemployment rate inched down by -0.5 percentage points. Jobless rates fell over the year in all but three of the 15 U.P. counties. The largest rate declines occurred in Keweenaw County (-3.0 percentage points), Ontonagon County (-2.4 percentage points), and Baraga County (-1.6 percentage points). Small jobless rate advances over the year were registered in Menominee County (+0.8 percentage points), Chippewa County (+0.3 of a percentage point) and Mackinac County (+0.2 of a percentage point).

The Upper Peninsula’s not seasonally adjusted March 2014 jobless rate of 10.4 percent was well above the Michigan and national rates of 8.0 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.