UP unemployment on rise in January

MARQUETTE — Unemployment in the Upper Peninsula showed a seasonal rise in January, with the region’s jobless rate up by 1.3 percent, according to figures from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The increase to 7.9 percent unemployment, compared with 6.6 percent in December, fit the average bump seen in January in the past four years, said Bruce Weaver, an analyst in Detroit.

Unemployment rose in 12 of the U.P.’s 15 counties, ranged from a .7 percent uptick in Baraga, Dickinson and Gogebic counties to a 3.4 percent increase in Mackinac County.

Three U.P. counties did report a lower jobless rate in January: Keweenaw, down by 1.4 percent to 9.5 percent; Ontonagon, down .3 percent to 9.3 percent; and Luce, down by .1 percent to 8.0 percent.

Dickinson County continued in January to have the lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula at 5.4 percent. The next lowest rates were in Gogebic and Menominee counties at 6.1 percent each.

Dickinson County’s 5.4 percent jobless figure is up over the December rate of 4.7 percent but lower than last year’s 5.6 percent.

The Dickinson County civilian labor force totaled 12,500, with 11,825 employed and 675 unemployed.

Iron County’s unemployment rate also rose in January, to 7.8 percent from 6.9 percent in December and 7.4 percent a year ago.

Iron County’s has a civilian labor force of 5,325, with 4,900 employed and 425 unemployed.

Mackinac County’s seasonal employment pushed it into the highest jobless rate in the state in January at 21.1 percent. Other above-average rates recorded for the month were Schoolcraft County at 11.6 percent, Alger at 10.7 percent, Chippewa at 9.8 percent, Keweenaw at 9.5 percent and Ontonagon County up to 9.3 percent.

“Total employment edged down in the Upper Peninsula in January, with job reductions generally concentrated in the construction and retail sectors,” Weaver said.

He added that compared with a year ago, the U.P. unemployment rate increased by .8 percent — similar to the statewide increase. And over this period, jobless rates moved up in all but two of the U.P.’s counties, with the largest over-the-year rate advances reported in Mackinac County, up 2.4 percent; Alger County, up 1.6 percent; Chippewa County, up 1.3 percent; and Marquette and Baraga counties, each up by 1.1 percent.

Counties with reductions in the jobless rate from a year ago included Gogebic, down by 1 percent; and Dickinson, down .2 percent.

The U.P.’s average unemployment rate of 7.9 percent in January was significantly higher than the state rate of 5.7 percent and the national rate of 5.1 percent.

JANUARY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

COUNTY / RATE

Dickinson 5.4 percent

Gogebic 6.1 percent

Menominee 6.1 percent

Houghton 6.6 percent

Marquette 6.7 percent

Delta 7.8 percent

Iron 7.8 percent

Luce 8.0 percent

Baraga 8.8 percent

Ontonagon 9.3 percent

Keweenaw 9.5 percent

Chippewa 9.8 percent

Alger 10.7 percent

Schoolcraft 11.6 percent

Mackinac 21.1 percent

U.P. rate 7.9 percent

Michigan 5.7 percent

U.S. rate 5.1 percent

COMMENTS