2017-03-19 / Marketplace

County’s jobless rate jumps to 8.9%

810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — Lapeer County’s jobless rate jumped two full percentage points from 6.9 percent in December to 8.9 percent in January, above any adjoining counties and the highest in southeast Michigan.

Lapeer County, however, was not alone in the unemployment rate increase as neighboring counties also saw a bump in jobless rates as well. Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in January rose in all of the state’s major labor market areas, according to numbers released Thursday by the Michigan Dept. of Technology, Management & Budget.

“Michigan’s local markets recorded very typical seasonal trends in January as job levels declined and unemployment rates advanced,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. “Over the year, payroll jobs rose in the majority of the state’s regions and workforce levels continued to increase in all major areas.”

With the exception of Lapeer County, the largest over-the-month rate advances were posted in the northeast and northwest Lower Michigan regions, with rate hikes of 1.9 and 1.5 percentage points respectively. The state’s overall jobless rate edged up over the month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.2 percent.

Regional jobless numbers for counties adjoining or near Lapeer County for January over December are:

Lapeer: 8.9 percent, up from 6.9;

Tuscola: 7.6, up from 5.6;

St. Clair: 7.6, up from 5.6;

Sanilac: 7.2, up from 5.5;

Huron: 6.4, up from 4.5;

Genesee: 6.3, up from 5.0;

Macomb: 6.1, up from 4.8;

Oakland: 4.8, up from 3.7.

The monthly survey of employers indicated that seasonally unadjusted payroll jobs in Michigan fell by 77,000 or 1.8 percent in January to 4,302,000. Typical seasonal job cuts over the month were registered in trade, transportation and utilities (-26,000), government (-15,000), construction (-9,000), education and health services (-9,000), professional and business services (-7,000), and leisure and hospitality services (-6,000).

Within trade, transportation and utilities, retail trade jobs fell by 17,000 in January as merchants cut seasonal jobs with the end of the holiday shopping period. Within education and health services, 7,000 of the job reduction was due to temporary declines in private education, while jobs were cut in both local and state government education as local schools and universities were not fully staffed after the holiday break.

All major industry sectors in the state recorded job gains since January 2016, and were led by increases in professional and business services (+23,000), leisure and hospitality services (+15,000), government (+14,000), education and health services (+9,000), and financial activities (+7,000).

In January, Mackinac County (Mackinac Island, St. Ignace) recorded the highest jobless rate at 21.1 percent owing to seasonal tourism layoffs, while Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor) had the lowest unemployment at 3.4 percent.

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