Upper Peninsula jobless rate drops

IRON MOUNTAIN — Seasonal employment gains in construction and tourism-related services pushed the Upper Peninsula jobless rate down to 5.6 percent in May, with Dickinson County showing the lowest rate in the region at 3.8 percent.

The U.P. jobless rate fell by 1.1 percentage points from April, while the statewide rate moved 0.2 percentage points lower to 3.8 percent, said Bruce Weaver, an analyst with the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

“All 15 Upper Peninsula counties recorded decreased jobless rates during May,” Weaver said. Reductions ranged from 10.7 percent in Mackinac County to 0.2 percentage points in Houghton.

Dickinson County’s rate was down 0.7 percent in April and by 0.5 percent from a year ago. The county showed a civilian labor force of 12,825, with 475 looking for work.

Iron County’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent, down from 7.1 percent in April and 6 percent in May 2017. The county’s civilian labor force totaled 5,175, with 300 unemployed.

Ontonagon County, at 9.4 percent, had the highest unemployment rate in Michigan in May.

“Since May 2017, the Upper Peninsula unemployment rate was stable, edging down by 0.2 percentage points,” Weaver said. “This was similar to the trend in Michigan over the past year, while the national rate declined by 0.5 percentage points.”

The national jobless rate in May was 3.6 percent.

Unemployment rates in May:

Alger 8.4 percent

Baraga 7.0 percent

Chippewa 6.8 percent

Delta 5.5 percent

Dickinson 3.8 percent

Gogebic 5.8 percent

Houghton 5.7 percent

Iron 5.6 percent

Keweenaw 8.1 percent

Luce 6.9 percent

Mackinac 4.5 percent

Marquette 5.1 percent

Menominee 4.2 percent

Ontonagon 9.4 percent

Schoolcraft 7.3 percent

U.P. 5.6 percent

Michigan 3.8 percent

U.S. 3.6 percent

Jim Anderson can be reached at 906-774-3500 ext. 26 or janderson@ironmountaindailynews.com.