UP unemployment ticked up in January, highest rate in state

HOUGHTON – Unemployment in the Upper Peninsula increased in January, moving higher by 1.3 percentage points to 7.9 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Total employment declined across the entire Upper Peninsula over the month. The report states job reductions are generally concentrated in the construction and retail sectors during January.

The U.P. jobless rate rose in 12 of the 15 counties, including Baraga and Houghton counties, while Keweenaw County reported a decline in its jobless rate (-1.4 percentage points), and Ontonagon County also reported a decline (-0.3 percentage points).

The U.P. unemployment rate increased by 0.8 percentage points from a year ago, the report states. Jobless rates moved up in 13 counties, with Mackinac County reporting the highest in the U.P., up 2.4 percentage points.

In the Copper Country, for the month of January, Houghton County reported the lowest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, followed by Baraga County at 8.8 percent. Ontonagon County reported an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent, while Keweenaw County reported the highest rate at 9.5 percent, the report states.

While the U.P. unemployment rate is 2.2 percentage points above that of Michigan’s 5.7 rate, Michigan’s rate is six percentage points above the national rate of 5.1 percent.