MARQUETTE - In new figures released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula declined in October to 7.9 percent, a drop of nine-tenths of a percentage point from the September rate of 8.8 percent.
The state says seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates have decreased in all 17 major Michigan labor markets. Locally, the jobless rate dropped to 6.8 percent in Marquette County.
All but one of the Upper Peninsula's 15 counties reported lower unemployment rates during October, with monthly rate decreases ranging from -0.3 to -2.1 percentage points. Only Mackinac County registered a rate increase, rising by 0.6 of a percentage point. Among the counties posting rate declines during October, Schoolcraft County had the largest drop at -2.1 percentage points, followed by Gogebic and Menominee counties, down by -1.7 and -1.6 percentage points, respectively.
Job seekers attend a career fair in Kansas recently. The unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than two and a half years, as employers stepped up hiring in response to the slowly improving economy. In the Upper Peninsula, the rate declined in October to 7.9 percent, a drop of nine-tenths of a percentage point from September’s 8.8 percent rate. (AP photo)
Delta County's jobless rate was 8 percent, down from 8.6 percent in September. Schoolcraft County's jobless rate dropped from 12.2 percent to 10.1 percent in October.
In Menominee County, unemployment was recorded at 6.6 percent - down from 8.2 percent. The jobless rate was 8.1 percent a year ago.
Job cuts in October in the Upper Peninsula occur for seasonal reasons and are usually reported in the hotel, restaurant, and temporary help sectors.
Mackinac County recorded the lowest jobless rate in Michigan at 5.0 percent. Menominee and Marquette County also reported a below average jobless rate of 6.6 percent. The highest jobless rate in Michigan in October was recorded in Baraga County (15.1 percent), although the rate declined during the month.
Since October 2010, the unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula decreased by -1.7 percentage points. Over the year, jobless rates contracted in all 15 regional counties, with the largest reductions occurring in Baraga County (-3.9 percentage points), Ontonagon County (-2.9 percentage points) and Gogebic, Alger and Dickinson counties, all down by -2.0 percentage points.
The Upper Peninsula's not seasonally adjusted October 2011 jobless rate of 7.9 percent was below the Michigan average of 9.2 percent, as well as the national rate of 8.5 percent. The statewide unadjusted jobless rate was 9.2 percent compared with 10.1 percent in September.
Rates range from a low of 5.7 percent in the Ann Arbor region to a high of 10.8 percent in the Detroit region. The Detroit region's rate was 12.2 percent in
October 2010. Eighty of Michigan's 83 counties had lower unemployment rates in October.
Mackinac County has the lowest county rate at 5 percent, followed by Washtenaw and Clinton at 5.7 percent. Baraga County has the highest at 15.1 percent.