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UP jobless rate dips, reflecting statewide trend

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County’s jobless rate of 5.1% in February ranked as the second-lowest in the Upper Peninsula, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The overall jobless rate in the U.P. in February was 6.6%, down from 7.6% in January but up by 1.1 percentage points from a year ago. Menominee County had the lowest jobless rate in the U.P. at 4.4%, while Mackinac County had the highest in the state at 17.5%.

Across Michigan, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell in all 17 regional labor markets during February, said Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

“Significant recalls of workers occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector,” Rourke said.

Despite those moves, jobless rates remained higher since February 2020 in all regions with a median gain of 2.2 percentage points. The statewide jobless rate was 5.1%, down from 6.1% in January and 1.3 percentage points higher than in February 2020.

“Since February 2020, statewide jobs plunged by 336,000, or 7.6%, reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market,” Rourke said.

Dickinson County’s February jobless rate was up by 0.9 percentage points from a year ago and down by 0.9 percentage points from January. Its civilian labor force numbered 11,973, including 614 looking for work.

A year ago, the county’s labor force totaled 12,048, including 500 unemployed.

Iron County’s February jobless rate was 6.7%, which compared with 7.8% in January and 6% in February 2020. Its labor force totaled 4,817, including 323 unemployed. In February 2020, Iron County showed a labor force of 4995, with 296 jobless.

“Labor force levels declined for the second consecutive month in most Michigan regions,” Rourke noted.

The U.P.’s civilian labor force of 130,800 was down by 2,000 workers from January and by 4,900 from a year ago. There were 8,600 workers unemployed in the region in February, compared with 10,100 in January and 7,500 in February 2020.

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