Archived Story

Unemployment drops slightly in SW Michigan

Published 6:55pm Sunday, January 6, 2013

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates declined slightly in 14 of Michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in November, including Southwest Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The Niles-Benton Harbor market saw unemployment decrease from 7.3 percent in October to 7.2 percent in November. Cass County’s unemployment rate in November was 6.5 percent, up from 5.7 percent in October.

Statewide, Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 9.1 in October to 8.9 percent

It’s important to note, however, that total employment and labor force levels decreased in all regions over the month.

“Unemployment rates declined over the month throughout Michigan mostly due to a reduction in the number of individuals actively seeking employment in November,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. “Retail trade jobs did rise seasonally as merchants hired for the holiday season, however this was offset by job cuts in other seasonal industries.”

Cass County 21st

Berrien County 30th

Washtenaw County remains with the lowest unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, while Keweenaw County has the highest at 14.4 percent.

From October to November, regional jobless rate declines were mostly minor with a median reduction of only 0.2 of a percentage point. The largest November drop of 0.8 of a percentage point was recorded in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), while all other declines were limited to 0.3 of a percentage point or less. The three northernmost Michigan regions posted seasonal rate advances with the Northeast Lower Michigan region registering a hike of one percentage point, while both the Northwest Lower Michigan region and the Upper Peninsula showed unemployment rate increases of 0.7 of a percentage point over the month.

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