(JACKSON) – Jobless rates around Southwest Michigan were down during the month of April.
Statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives shows the unemployment rate in St. Joseph County dropped from 6.5 percent in March to 5.5 percent in April. One year ago the County's jobless rate was 6.9 percent.
Branch County dropped from 7.7 percent in March to 6.5 percent in April and Cass County also dropped from 7.8 to 5.9 percent.
Statewide the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent, down from March's rate of an even 8 percent. One year ago the statewide rate was at 8.3 percent.
Labor market officials say seasonal employment gains occurred following the difficult weather conditions in the first quarter of 2014. Jobs rose in Leisure and Hospitality; construction; retail trade and professional and business services.