Unemployment down across UP

Dickinson remains lowest rate in region

MARQUETTE — Unemployment eased in all 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula in March, with the overall jobless rate for the region down a full percentage point from the previous month to 7.4 percent, state officials said.

The improvement for the month ranged from the unemployment rate down by 2.9 percent in Mackinac County to .2 percent in Keweenaw County, according to figures released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

Other counties recording declines larger than the U.P. average included Chippewa County, down by 1.6 percent; Delta and Schoolcraft counties, both down by 1. 3 percent; and a drop of 1.2 percent in the counties of Alger, Marquette and Gogebic.

Like the region as a whole, Dickinson County’s unemployment rate fell a full percentage point for the month, from 6.2 in February to 5.2 percent in March, again the lowest in the U.P. The jobless rate a year ago was at 6 percent.

Dickinson County’s civilian labor force totaled 12,575, with 11,925 employed and 650 unemployed.

In Iron County, the jobless rate dropped by .8 percent – from 8.7 in February to 7.9 percent in March. The rate a year ago was at 8.7 percent.

The civilian labor force for Iron County totaled 5,250, with 4,850 employed and 425 unemployed.

“Payroll jobs remained fairly flat in the Upper Peninsula during March as leisure and hospitality and retail establishments prepared for the approach of the tourism and recreation season,” Detroit analyst Bruce Weaver said.

Other low unemployment rates in March included Menominee County at 5.4 percent and Marquette County at 6 percent.

The highest unemployment rate in Michigan for the month and the year so far has been in tourism-reliant Mackinac County at 20.6 percent; that should improve as the off-season ends.

Above-average unemployment rates were seen as well in Schoolcraft County at 11.3 percent; Keweenaw and Alger counties at 9.7 percent each; Ontonagon County at 9.6 percent; and Chippewa County at 8.9 percent.

“Since March last year, the jobless rate in the U.P. declined by .5 percent. This was similar to the reduction statewide and nationally during the same period,” Weaver said. “And unemployment rates also declined in all 15 counties during the year, ranging from 1.1 percent in Baraga County to .3 percent in Marquette County.”

The U.P.’s 7.4 percent jobless rate in March remained significantly higher than the state rate of 4.8 percent and the national rate of 4.6 percent.

MARCH UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN THE UP

COUNTY RATE

Dickinson 5.2 percent

Menominee 5.4 percent

Marquette 6.0 percent

Houghton 6.2 percent

Delta 7.0 percent

Gogebic 7.0 percent

Luce 7.2 percent

Iron 7.9 percent

Baraga 8.7 percent

Chippewa 8.9 percent

Ontonagon 9.6 percent

Alger 9.7 percent

Keweenaw 9.7 percent

Schoolcraft 11.3 percent

Mackinac 20.6 percent

U.P. rate 7.4 percent

Michigan 4.8 percent

U.S. rate 4.6 percent

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