Dickinson jobless rate lowest in region at 8.1 percent; Iron County dips to 10.8

By LINDA LOBECK

Staff Writer

MARQUETTE – There was little change in the Upper Peninsula jobless rates from February and March – down by .2 percentage points to 10.4 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

During March, 11 out of 15 U.P. counties registered declines in the unemployment rates although the monthly rate cuts were modest, according to Bruce Weaver, analyst in Detroit.

The declines in the jobless rates for the month ranged from .1 percent in Luce County to 1.1 percent in 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 during the month in the U.P. in construction and health care sectors,” Weaver said.

In Dickinson County, the jobless rate fell to 8.1 percent – the lowest rate in the Upper Peninsula.

Dickinson County’s unemployment rate in February was at 8.7 percent and 8.9 percent a year ago. The civilian labor force totaled 13,275 with 12,200 employed and 1,075 unemployed.

Iron County’s jobless rate also fell slightly in March to 10.8 percent, down from 11 percent in February. The rate a year ago was at 10.9 percent.

The civilian labor force in Iron County totaled 5,425 in March with 4,850 employed and 575 unemployed.

Weaver noted that below average jobless rates in the region in March occurred in Dickinson at 8.1 percent, Marquette at 8.2 percent, Menominee at 8.4 percent and Houghton at 9.1 percent.

The highest unemployment rate in March in the state was in Mackinac County with 23.8 percent.

Above average rates were also recorded in Schoolcraft County at 14.4 percent, Baraga County at 13.9 percent, Ontonagon County at 13.4 percent and Chippewa County at 13 percent.

“Since March 2013, the Upper Peninsula’s unemployment rate inched down by .5 percent. Jobless rates fell over the year in all but three of the 15 counties. The largest declines occurred in Keweenaw County down by 3 percent, Ontonagon County down by 2.4 percent and Baraga County was down by 1.6 percent,” Weaver said.

Small jobless rate advances over the year were registered in Menominee County at .8 percent, Chippewa County by .3 percent and Mackinac County at .2 percent.

The U.P.’s rate of 10.4 in March was well above the state rate of 8 percent and the national rate of 6.8 percent.

COUNTY RATE

Dickinson………….8.1 percent

Marquette ………..8.2 percent

Menominee………8.4 percent

Houghton…………9.1 percent

Gogebic…………….10 percent

Delta………………10.1 percent

Iron………………..10.8 percent

Luce……………….10.8 percent

Alger………………11.7 percent

Keweenaw………12.3 percent

Chippewa…………..13 percent

Ontonagon………13.4 percent

Baraga……………13.9 percent

Schoolcraft………14.4 percent

Mackinac………..23.8 percent

U.P. rate…………10.4 percent

Michigan……………..8 percent

U.S. rate……………6.8 percent

Linda Lobeck’s email address is llobeck@ironmountaindailynews.com.