Jobless rates drop across UP

MARQUETTE — All counties in the Upper Peninsula experienced some decrease in the jobless rate in August with the regional rate moving down by .5 percentage points to 5.7 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The U.P.’s jobless rate had been at 6.2 percent in July. “This decrease was slightly larger than the .3 percent decline statewide during August,” said Bruce Weaver, analyst in Detroit.

Mackinac County was one of two counties to have the lowest unemployment rate in Michigan during August — at 3.2 percent. Unemployment stays low during the tourism season in Mackinac County, especially on Mackinac Island.

Below average U.P. rates were also reported in Dickinson County at 4.7 percent, Menominee at 5 percent, Marquette at 5.5 percent and Iron County at 5.6 percent. The highest jobless rates in the U.P. in August were in Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties, both at 7.6 percent.

Regional rate reductions in unemployment in August were led by Houghton, down .7 percent, and Delta County, down by .6 percent.

Five counties matched the overall U.P. rate by dropping by a half of percent for the month — Alger, Baraga, Gogebic, Marquette and Ontonagon. Little change — .1 percent — was seen in both Iron and Mackinac counties for the month.

“The drop in the August jobless rates in some U.P. counties were related to a seasonal reduction in the number of people looking for work. Six U.P. counties — Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Marquette and Schoolcraft — all had monthly increases in total employment which contributed to the August rate reductions,” Weaver said.

Compared to a year ago, the jobless rate in the U.P. was unchanged, although seven counties reported over-the-year jobless rate cuts. These cuts ranged from .6 percent in Menominee County to .1 percent in both Gogebic and Mackinac counties.

Increases in the jobless rate from a year ago ranged from .1 percent in Houghton, Alger and Chippewa counties to .8 percent in Luce County. Statewide, the unemployment rate declined by .6 percent over-the-year.

The U.P. rate of 5.7 percent in August was higher than both the state rate of 4.6 percent and the national rate of 4.5 percent.

Linda Lobeck can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 29 or


Mackinac 3.2 percent

Dickinson 4.7 percent

Menominee 5 percent

Marquette 5.5 percent

Iron 5.6 percent

Delta 5.7 percent

Luce 5.8 percent

Gogebic 5.9 percent

Houghton 6 percent

Alger 6.6 percent

Chippewa 6.7 percent

Baraga 7.1 percent

Schoolcraft 7.3 percent

Keweenaw 7.6 percent

Ontonagon 7.6 percent

U.P. rate 5.7 percent

Michigan 4.6 percent

U.S. rate 4.5 percent