Jobless rates up in UP
MARQUETTE — Spurred by a seasonal jump in unemployment, the Upper Peninsula’s overall jobless rate rose by almost a full percentage point in July to 6.2 percent, its highest level since March, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
While that figure was up .9 percent — or 1,100 more jobless claims — from 5.4 percent in June, it still was down from 6.9 percent for the same month in 2016.
In the midst of the tourism season, Mackinac County posted the U.P.’s lowest jobless rate for the month and the second-lowest in Michigan at 3.3 percent.
Dickinson had the second-lowest rate in the U.P. at 5 percent, up from 4.1 percent in June but lower than the 6 percent seen a year ago.
Dickinson County’s civilian labor force totaled 12,500 in July, with 11,900 employed and 625 unemployed.
All 15 U.P. counties recorded a seasonal rise in the jobless rate in July, ranging from .2 percent in Baraga and Luce counties to 1.3 percent in Menominee County.
July unemployment in Alger, Marquette, and Dickinson counties went up by .9 percent and in Houghton County by 1 percent.
Along with Dickinson and Mackinac counties, Menominee and Iron counties had jobless rates below the U.P. average at 5.4 and 5.7 percent, respectively.
Unemployment in Iron County was at 5.2 percent in July and 6.2 percent a year ago. The civilian labor force in Iron County totaled 5,375 in July, with 5,075 employed and 300 unemployed.
“Job gains in the Upper Peninsula during July are usually concentrated in the accommodation and food service section as hotels and restaurants continue to hire summer workers. Construction jobs also generally rise during,” said Bruce Weaver, an analyst in Detroit.
But these job gains can be offset by losses at the end of the school year in June, he noted.
Over the past year, the U.P. unemployment rate has declined by .7 percent, and the jobless rate is down in every county except Luce, which recorded a .2 increase. The declines in jobless numbers since July 2016 ranged from .1 percent in Keweenaw County to 2.2 percent in Menominee.
The U.P.’s 6.2 percent unemployment rate in July remained much higher than the state’s 4.9 percent overall and the U.S. rate of 4.6 percent.
Linda Lobeck can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 29, or email@example.com.
Mackinac 3.3 percent
Dickinson 5 percent
Menominee 5.4 percent
Iron 5.7 percent
Marquette 6.1 percent
Luce 6.2 percent
Delta 6.3 percent
Gogebic 6.4 percent
Houghton 6.7 percent
Alger 7.1 percent
Chippewa 7.1 percent
Baraga 7.6 percent
Schoolcraft 7.7 percent
Keweenaw 8 percent
Ontonagon 8.1 percent
U.P. rate 6.2 percent
Michigan 4.9 percent
U.S. rate 4.6 percent