(LANSING) – Jobless rates in February were up slightly around Southwest Michigan.
The Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives says St. Joseph County saw their jobless rate drop from a January figure of 6.9 percent to 6.8 percent in February. One year ago the unemployment rate in the county was 8.1 percent.
Branch County saw an increase in their unemployment from an even 8 percent to 8.4 percent in February. Cass County held steady from January to February at 8.3 percent.
Statewide the unemployment rate was at 8.5 percent, up from 8.1 percent in January. That's still lower than one year ago when the unemployment rate in Michigan was 9.4 percent.
Labor Market Analyst Leonidas Murembya says unemployment rates rose as a result of more individuals entering the job market looking for employment. Support staff in the education sector continued to be recalled to work, following seasonal layoffs.