Upper Peninsula gains jobs in July

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Upper Peninsula jobless rate dipped to 5.3 percent in July, down 1.2 percentage points from the July 2017 rate of 6.5 percent, Michigan’s Bureau of Labor Market Information said.

Dickinson County had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the region last month at 4 percent, while Mackinac County was the lowest in the state at 3.1 percent.

The Upper Peninsula rate, while down 0.2 percentage points from June, remained above the U.S. jobless rate of 4.1 percent and the Michigan rate of 4.8 percent. The statewide rate, however, was up 0.5 percentage points from June.

“Job gains in the Upper Peninsula during July are usually concentrated in the accommodation and food service sector, as hotels and restaurants hire to meet the demand generated by tourism activity,” said Bruce Weaver, labor market analyst with the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “Construction and retail jobs also advance in July. These gains, however, are countered somewhat with the cessation of the school year and the resultant reduction in payrolls among local school districts.”

Dickinson County reported a civilian labor force of 12,750, with 525 unemployed. Its 4 percent jobless rate in July was up 0.1 percentage points from June but down substantially from 5.2 percent in July 2017.

Iron County’s unemployment rate last month was 5 percent, down from 5.4 percent in June and 6.1 percent a year ago. Its civilian labor force totaled 5,375, including 275 looking for work.

All counties in the Upper Peninsula have reported significant rate reductions over the past year, ranging from 0.5 percentage points in Mackinac County to 1.9 percentage points in Keweenaw County.

Ontonagon County had the highest jobless rate in the region last month at 7.3 percent, followed by Alger, Baraga and Keweenaw counties, all at 6.5 percent.

Alger 6.5 percent

Baraga 6.5 percent

Chippewa 6.3 percent

Delta 5.6 percent

Dickinson 4.0 percent

Gogebic 5.5 percent

Houghton 5.9 percent

Iron 5.0 percent

Keweenaw 6.5 percent

Luce 5.5 percent

Mackinac 3.1 percent

Marquette 5.2 percent

Menominee 4.6 percent

Ontonagon 7.3 percent

Schoolcraft 6.3 percent

U.P. 5.3 percent

Michigan 4.8 percent

U.S. 4.1 percent

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