Southwest Michigan Jobless Rates Up During January 2019
Friday, March 15, 2019

(LANSING) – Jobless rates were up around Southwest Michigan during the month of January.

According to data released by the Bureau Of Labor Market Information And Strategic Initiatives, St. Joseph County's jobless rate went from an even 4 percent in December to 4.5 percent in January. The number of unemployed individuals rose from 1,125 to 1,275. One year ago the County's jobless rate was 4.1 percent.

Hillsdale County saw the largest jobless rate increase in the area, going from 3.9 percent in December to 4.5 percent in January. Branch County went from 3.8 to 4.2 percent while Cass County rose from 4.4 percent to
4.8 percent.

The lowest jobless rate in the state during January 2019 was in Ottawa County at 2.9 percent. Statewide, the overall jobless rate was 4.6 percent, up from 4.1 percent in December.

Economic Specialist Dr. Leonidas Murembya says part of the reason for the rise in the jobless rate was support staff in Education being temporarily laid off over the winter break. In addition, seasonal employment cuts occurred in Retail Trade, while jobs in Construction and Mining along with Leisure and Hospitality continued to decline as well.