Wine conference visits GT Resort

ACME — Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is hosting the 12th annual WineMaker Magazine Conference.

The event concludes May 19 with post-conference WineMaker Boot Camps and Winery Tours that include a session on meadmaking as well as tours of Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula wineries.

Day 2 of the conference on May 18 includes a lunch keynote address from Paul Hamelin of Verterra Winery and the Traverse Wine Coast. Some of the highlights of workshops on May 17-18 include Keys to Crafting Great Rieslings, Winemaking with Cherries, Cool-Climate Techniques and Choose the Right Trellis for your Vineyard.

Unemployment up to 4.1% in April

LANSING — Michigan’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.1% in April after six consecutive months of remaining unchanged.

Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was half of a percentage point higher than last month’s national unemployment rate of 3.6%.

In April 2018, Michigan’s jobless rate was 4.3%.

Total employment grew by 7,000 during the month while the number of jobless workers increased by 4,000.

The agency says the manufacturing sector saw the most pronounced monthly decline in jobs at 3,000.

Director Jason Palmer of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives says total employment gains so far this year have averaged 9,800 per month and payroll jobs rose in April for a seventh consecutive month.

Travel agency shares plunge amid warning

LONDON — Shares in travel agency Thomas Cook slumped 17 percent after it reported a $1.9 billion half year pre-tax loss and warned Brexit uncertainty was prompting travelers to delay bookings.

The cash-strapped firm has struggled amid competition online for bookings as well as a drop in demand for package vacations

CEO Peter Fankhauser says “there is now little doubt that the Brexit process has led many U.K. customers to delay their holiday plans for this summer.”

The firm also said Thursday that “challenging” trading over the peak summer season was also set to put the full-year result under pressure. Higher fuel and hotel costs were “creating further headwinds.”

The travel company confirmed it is considering offers for all or part of its airline.