By LINDA LOBECK
MARQUETTE - The unemployment rate in the U.P. continued its downward pattern in October to 6.8 percent, according to figures released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
The jobless rate in September was at 7.2 percent in the U.P., and 8.1 percent the previous year. The October rate was the lowest recorded so far in 2012, noted Bruce Weaver, analyst in Detroit.
All but two of the U.P.'s 15 counties registered jobless rate declines in October, with modest reductions ranging from 0.3 to 0.9 percent.
Dickinson and Iron counties posted unemployment rates during the month that were lower than the U.P., state and nation.
in Dickinson County, unemployment fell to 6.1 percent in October, down from 6.5 percent in September. The rate a year ago was at 7.3 percent.
The civilian labor force for Dickinson County totaled 13,375 with 12,550 employed and 825 unemployed in October.
Iron County's jobless rate in October was at 6.7 percent,d own from 7.1 percent in September and 8.2 percent a year ago.
Iron County's civilian labor force in October totaled 5,300 with 4,950 employed and 350 unemployed.
The two U.P. counties reporting seasonal rate increases in October were Mackinac and Keweenaw, with rates of 0.7 and 1.2 percent, respectively.
"Among the counties posting decreases during the month, Baraga and Gogebic counties had the largest drop at 0.9 percent followed by Luce and Menominee counties at 0.8 and 0.6 percent, respectively," Weaver said.
Mackinac County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.3 percent in October. Below average rates were also reported by Menominee and Marquette counties with 5.7 and 5.8 percent, respectively.
The U.P. also had the county with the highest jobless rate in Michigan in October - Baraga County at 12.7 percent. Other high rates during the month were seen in Ontonagon County at 10.3 percent, Luce at 9.3 percent and Keweenaw at 9 percent.
"Despite the small drop in the U.P. jobless rate in October, total employment declined during the month. Job reductions in October in the U.P. usually occur in seasonal industries such as recreation services, hotels and restaurants, and the retail sector," Weaver said.
Over the year, the unemployment rate in the U.P. fell significantly - by 1.3 percent. The U.P. outpaced the state decline of 0.8 percent during the year. And during the year, the jobless rates fell in all 15 U.P. counties with the largest rate cuts in Ontonagon, down by 2.7 percent, Baraga by 2.6 percent, Luce County by 1.9 percent and Schoolcraft by 1.6 percent.
The U.P.'s jobless rate in October of 6.8 percent was well below the state average of 8.3 percent and the national rate of 7.5 percent.
Mackinac 4.3 percent
Menominee 5.7 percent
Marquette 5.8 percent
Dickinson 6.1 percent
Houghton 6.5 percent
Iron 6.7 percent
Delta 7 percent
Alger 8 percent
Chippewa 8 percent
Gogebic 8 percent
Schoolcraft 8.7 percent
Keweenaw 9 percent
Luce 9.3 percent
Ontonagon 10.3 percent
Baraga 12.7 percent
U.P. rate 6.8 percent
Michigan 8.3 percent
U.S. rate 7.5 percent.
Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is email@example.com.