MARQUETTE - The jobless rate in the Upper Peninsula in September dropped by 1.2 percent, according to figures released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. The U.P. had the lowest rate in the state.
The U.P. jobless rate of 7.2 - and 7.3 for Delta County - for September was a full percentage point below the state rate of 8.2 percent and also edged below the national rate of 7.6 percent.
"During the month, jobless rates contracted in all 15 of the Upper Peninsula counties. The sharpest jobless rate decline was reported in Marquette County, which was down by 1.7 percent, followed by Houghton and Ontonagon counties with reductions of 1.6 and 1.4 percent, respectively," note Bruce Weaver, labor analyst in Detroit.
In Michigan, the adjusted jobless rate in September went down by 1 percent to 8.2 percent
The lowest unemployment rate in the state was in Mackinac County in September at 3.6 percent.
Other below average rates were registered in the counties of Marquette at 6.2 percent, Menominee at 6.3 percent, and Dickinson at 6.5 percent.
Jobless rate by county
Delta 7.3 percent
Schoolcraft 9 percent
Menominee 6.3 percent
Mackinac 3.6 percent
Marquette 6.2 percent
Dickinson 6.5 percent
Houghton 6.9 percent
Iron 7.1 percent
Keweenaw 7.8 percent
Alger 8.4 percent
Chippewa 8.5 percent
Gogebic 8.9 percent
Luce 10 percent
Ontonagon 10.7 percent
Baraga 13.6 percent
U.P. rate 7.2 percent
Michigan 8.2 percent
U.S. rate 7.6 percent
While the U.P. had the lowest rate in the state, it also recorded the highest unemployment rate in September - 13.6 percent in Baraga County. Other U.P. counties with double-digit jobless rates included Ontonagon County at 10.7 percent and Luce County at 10 percent.
"The decline in September jobless rates in the Upper Peninsula counties was partially related to some recalls of previously laid off workers, and due to a seasonal contraction in the number of individuals actively seeking employment," Weaver said.
He added that payroll jobs in the Upper Peninsula tend to record a seasonal reduction during September with job cuts in the retail sector and in tourism-related services and the hotel industry.
During the past year, the unemployment rate in the U.P. decreased by 1.6 percent. Since September 2011, jobless rates have fallen in all 15 U.P. counties, Weaver said. "The largest rate reduction was posted in Ontonagon County, which was down by 3.6 percent. Following close behind was Schoolcraft County with a decrease of 3.1 percent, Baraga County, down by 2.6 percent and Gogebic County with a 2.1 percent decrease."