2013-08-29 / Community

Unemployment changes little, areas remain high

MANISTIQUE – The unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula was little changed during the month of July, as the regional rate edged upward slightly to 9.7 percent. In Schoolcraft County, the rate remains unseasonably high, at 13.4 percent.

During the month, unemployment rates contracted in eight of the Upper Peninsula’s 15 counties with minor monthly declines ranging from -0.1 of a percentage point (Keweenaw County) to -0.5 of a percentage point (Ontonagon County). The largest jobless rate advances in July were posted by Chippewa and Menominee counties, both moving up by 0.5 of a percentage point. Dickinson County reported no rate change for the month.

Mackinac County (4.9 percent) had the lowest jobless rate in Michigan during July, and Menominee and Dickinson counties had relatively low rates as well at 6.8 and 8.0 percent, respectively. Baraga County registered the highest jobless rate in Michigan in July at 17.5 percent. Above average rates were also posted in Ontonagon County (13.5 percent) Schoolcraft County, Keweenaw County (12.5 percent), and Chippewa County (12.0 percent).

Job advances in July in the Upper Peninsula are usually concentrated in the accommodation and food service sector, as hotel and restaurant jobs are generated by substantial increases in tourism activity. Construction and retail jobs also typically rise during July.

The Upper Peninsula’s not seasonally adjusted July 2013 unemployment rate of 9.7 percent matched the Michigan jobless rate, but was two percentage points above the national rate of 7.7 percent.

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