ESCANABA - Unemployment numbers decreased in Delta County in March, according to a report from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Jobless numbers in Schoolcraft and Menominee counties, however, increased slightly.
Delta County's unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in Match - down from 10.6 percent in February. That compares to 11.5 percent unemployment a year ago.
In Schoolcraft County, jobless figures rose to 14.6 percent in March compared to 14.5 percent in February. Unemployment was 15.6 percent there a year ago.
In Menominee County, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in March - an increase from 7.6 percent in February. The jobless rate there was 9 percent a year ago.
Overall, the unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula decreased slightly in March to 10.3 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point below February's rate of 10.5 percent.
During March, eight counties in the Upper Peninsula reported rate reductions, although five of these counties registered modest rate cuts of 0.5 percentage points or less. One county (Luce County) posted no rate change, while the remaining six counties experienced rate increases for the month. Among the counties showing rate advances, Keweenaw County had the largest gain at 2.8 percentage points, followed by Ontonagon and Gogebic counties up by 0.6 and 0.4 of a percentage point, respectively.
March payroll job gains are usually modest, with additions in construction and professional and technical services.
The lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula during March was in Menominee County at 7.7 percent, followed by Marquette and Dickinson counties both with 8.2 percent. The highest jobless rate in Michigan was recorded by Mackinac County at 21.6 percent. Baraga County (18.3 percent) and Keweenaw County (15.9 percent) also had among the highest jobless rates in the state.
Compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula contracted by -1.6 percentage points. Over the year, jobless rates fell in all but one of the 15 regional counties. The largest over-the-year rate reductions occurred in Ontonagon County (-3.8 percentage points), Baraga County (-3.1 percentage points), Mackinac County (-2.9 percentage points) and Dickinson County (-2.0 percentage points).
The Upper Peninsula's not seasonally adjusted March 2012 jobless rate of 10.3 percent was above Michigan's rate of 9.0 percent, and higher than the national rate of 8.4 percent.