U.P. jobless rate up to 9 percent


Staff Writer

MARQUETTE – Unemployment rates rose in nine of the U.P.’s 15 counties in November as the U.P. average edged up to 9 percent, according to figures released from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The U.P. rate was at 8.6 percent in October and 7.8 percent a year ago.

“The monthly advances in the jobless rates ranged widely from .2 percent in Dickinson County to 9.9 percent in Mackinac County. Above average November unemployment rate hikes were also posted by Keweenaw and Alger counties – up by 6.8 and 1.4 percent, respectively,” said Bruce Weaver, analyst in Detroit.

Dickinson County’s rate of 7.2 percent in November was slightly higher than the October rate of 7 percent and the rate a year ago was at 6.3 percent.

Dickinson County’s civilian labor force totaled 13,175 with 12,225 employed and 950 unemployed.

Iron County recorded a November jobless rate of 9.5 percent, up from October’s rate of 8.8 percent and the rate a year ago at 7.7 percent.

The civilian labor force for Iron County totaled 5,275 in November with 4,775 employed and 500 unemployed.

During November there were also five U.P. counties reporting declines in the unemployment rates. Baraga and Houghton counties had the largest drops at .7 and .5 percent, respectively, he added.

The lowest jobless rate in the U.P. during November was in Menominee County at 6.5 percent, followed by Marquette and Dickinson counties at 7.1 and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Mackinac County continued with the highest unemployment rate in the U.P. in November at 15.8 percent. High jobless rates were also seen in Keweenaw County at 15.4 percent and Baraga County at 15.3 percent.

Job reductions in November in the U.P. 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 through November averages for 2013 and the same period in 2012,” Weaver said.

The U.P. rate through the first 11 months of 2013 was 9.4 percent, which is slightly above the January-November 2012 rate of 9.1 percent.

Over this period, jobless rates in 10 of the 15 U.P. counties recorded an increase with the most notable gains reported in Keweenaw County, up by 1.2 percent and Schoolcraft County, up by 1 percent.

“The only U.P. county reporting a significant jobless rate reduction based on the 11 month 2013 average was Menominee County – down by .6 percent.

The U.P. rate of 9 percent in November was above the state rate of 7.8 percent and the national rate of 6.6 percent.

Linda Lobeck’s e-mail address is llobeck@ironmountaindailynews.com.