By LINDA LOBECK
MARQUETTE - The unemployment rate in the U.P. increased slightly during February to 10.5 percent, up from 10.3 in January, according to figures released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
"Eleven out of the 15 U.P. counties in February posted higher jobless rates - although most increases were modest," said Bruce Weaver, analyst in Detroit. "Monthly gains ranged from an increase of .1 percent in Dickinson and Ontonagon counties to 1.5 percent in Mackinac County."
Reductions in the jobless rates were seen in Luce County, down by .4 percent and Keewenaw, which was down by 1.1 percent.
In Dickinson County, the unemployment rate increased to 8.4 percent. This is compared to 8.3 percent in January and 8.7 percent a year ago.
The civilian labor force for Dickinson County in February totaled 13,150, with 12,025 employed and 1,100 unemployed.
Iron County's jobless rate rose by .4 percent in February to 10.8 percent. The rate was at 10.4 percent in January and 10.7 percent a year ago.
Iron County's civilian labor force totaled 5,275 in February with 4,700 employed and 575 unemployed.
According to Weaver, the payroll job cuts in the U.P. during February are usually concentrated in construction and retail.
Menominee County, at 7.2 percent, recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the U.P. in February. The U.P. rate in February was at 10.5 percent and there were three other counties recorded rates lower than the average. - Marquette at 8.2 percent, Dickinson area 8.4 percent and Houghton at 9.2 percent.
Mackinac County recorded the highest jobless rate in the state in February at 24.6 percent. Above average rates were also posted in Baraga at 18.7 percent, Schoolcraft at 16.1 percent and Keweenaw at 15.3 percent.
"Compared to a year ago, the Upper Peninsula unemployment rate fell by .4 percent. Since a year ago, jobless rate changes were mixed with rate reductions in eight out of the 15 regional counties," Weaver said.
He noted that the largest rate cuts were reported in Alger County at 1.1 percent and Menominee, Luce and Gogebic counties all down by .7 percent. In addition, five counties experienced rate hikes.
"Keweenaw County had the largest increase at 1.4 percent, while the jobless rate advances in the remaining four counties, ranging from .1 to .4 percent.
The U.P. rate of 10.5 percent in February was higher than both the state rate at 9.3 percent and the national rate at 8.2 percent.
Menominee 7.2 percent
Marquette 8.2 percent
Dickinson 8.4 percent
Houghton 9.2 percent
Gogebic 10.2 percent
Iron 10.8 percent
Delta 11 percent
Luce 11.2 percent
Chippewa 12.2 percent
Alger 12.3 percent
Ontonagon 14.8 percent
Keweenaw 15.3 percent
Schoolcraft 16.1 percent
Baraga 18.7 percent
Mackinac 24.6 percent
U.P. rate 10.5 percent
Michigan 9.3 percent
U.S. rate 8.1 percent
Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is email@example.com