UP jobless rate slightly lower

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Upper Peninsula’s jobless rate nudged lower in October, dropping 0.2 percent to 4.9 percent.

“This was very similar to the 0.3 percentage point rate cut in Michigan in October,” said Bruce Weaver, an analyst with the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Dickinson County’s unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 4.4 percent, tied with Menominee County for the second-lowest rate in the region. Only Mackinac County was lower at 3.6 percent.

Dickinson County had a civilian labor force of 12,250 for the month, including 525 who were unemployed. The county’s jobless rate in October 2016 was 4.5 percent.

Iron County’s unemployment rate in October was 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in September but up from 4.9 percent a year ago. Iron County had 5,150 workers in its civilian labor force, with 250 unemployed.

Unemployment went down in 10 of the Upper Peninsula’s 15 counties, Weaver said. The largest declines were in Houghton and Ontonagon counties, at 0.6 percent. Mackinac County had the biggest gain, at 0.4 percent.

Compared with a year ago, jobless rate changes were minimal, Weaver noted. The overall U.P. rate inched down 0.3 percent for the year, with Baraga and Marquette counties seeing the biggest decline at 0.6 percent. Iron County had the biggest increase at 0.2 percent.

Weaver described the U.P.’s non-seasonally adjusted October 2017 unemployment rate of 4.9 percent as “quite low” but still above the Michigan rate of 4.2 percent and the national rate of 3.9 percent.

Despite the region’s monthly jobless rate decline, the size of its labor force fell in October as employment moved below the seasonal peaks of the summer months, Weaver added.



Alger 6.3 percent

Baraga 6.0 percent

Chippewa 5.6 percent

Delta 5.1 percent

Dickinson 4.4 percent

Gogebic 5.3 percent

Houghton 4.7 percent

Iron 5.1 percent

Keweenaw 5.9 percent

Luce 5.5 percent

Mackinac 3.6 percent

Marquette 4.6 percent

Menominee 4.4 percent

Ontonagon 6.7 percent

Schoolcraft 6.8 percent

U.P. 4.9 percent

Michigan 4.2 percent

U.S. 3.9 percent