ESCANABA - The unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula edged down in February to 10.5 percent, a drop of one-tenth of a percentage point below January's 10.6 percent, according to figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
Locally, Delta County's jobless rate remained at 10.6 percent in February, unchanged for January. That compares to a 12.2 percent jobless rate a year ago.
Schoolcraft County's unemployment rate was also steady at 14.5 percent from January to February. The jobless rate was 15.6 percent there a year ago.
In Menominee County the jobless rate dropped to 7.6 percent in February, down from 7.8 percent. The jobless rate there was 9.4 percent a year ago.
Labor market conditions were stable in February, with only small changes in county jobless rates. Rates in the 15 Upper Peninsula counties were mixed, with five counties reporting rate reductions, six counties showing no change and four counties posting rate increases. Baraga County had the largest rate drop of -0.7 of a percentage point, followed by Luce and Ontonagon counties, both down by -0.5 of a percentage point. Of the four counties posting rate increases, Mackinac County had the largest gain at 0.5 of a percentage point.
The lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula during February was reported by Menominee County at 7.6 percent, followed by Marquette and Dickinson counties (both with 8.4 percent) and Houghton County at 9.3 percent. The highest jobless rate in Michigan was registered by Mackinac County at 23.5 percent. Baraga County (18.3 percent), Schoolcraft County (14.5 percent), and Ontonagon County (14.4 percent) also had rates well above the Upper Peninsula average.
Compared to a year ago the unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula fell by -1.5 percentage points. Over the year jobless rates dropped in all 15 regional counties, with the largest rate cuts in Ontonagon County (-3.9 percentage points), Baraga County (-3.7 percentage points), Mackinac County (-2.1 percentage points) and Keweenaw County (-2.0 percentage points). The Upper Peninsula's not seasonally adjusted February 2012 jobless rate of 10.5 percent remained above the Michigan average rate of 9.4 percent, and higher than the national rate of 8.7 percent.