Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 8, 2013

Unemployment up a little in northern Michigan

LANSING — Unemployment edged up slightly in northwestern Lower Michigan in February, according to new statistics released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

In the region comprised of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties, February’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 11.3 percent, up over January’s 11.2 percent. Compared to February 2012, however, unemployment is down 7.1 percent; the rate was 12.1 percent in February one year ago.

In the five-county Grand Traverse region, Leelanau had the lowest unemployment rate, ranked at 23 out of 83 counties with 8.8 percent. That was followed by 9.1 percent for Grand Traverse County at 26th; 10.5 percent for Kalkaska County at 42nd; 12.1 percent for Antrim County, ranked 56th; and 12.5 percent for Benzie County, at 61st.

Statewide, unemployment in February was at 9.3 percent, down from 9.7 percent in January, and from 9.8 percent in February 2012. In addition, payroll jobs expanded statewide by 51,000, or 1.3 percent. Manufacturing job gains counted at more than 20,000 statewide. Increases were also noted in trade, transportation and utilities (15,000-plus), professional and business services (9,000-plus) and education and health services (8,000-plus). Notable declines were recorded in government (minus 6,000) and construction (minus 4,000).

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