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Michigan Jobless Rate Up 0.3 Points To 11.2 Percent

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 8:51am

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 11.2 percent in the latest monthly figures, the state announced Wednesday.

The state's unemployment rate in August continued to exceed the nationwide rate, which was 9.1 percent in August, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. It said the jobless rate remains below the August 2010 rate of 12.2 percent.

Michigan's unemployment rate has been rising in recent months but remains below its recessionary peak of 14.1 percent in fall 2009. It stood at 10.2 percent in April.ered

"With the recent slowdown in the national economy, Michigan's unemployment rate has edged upward since April, but still remains below 2010 levels," Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. "In August, small job reductions in manufacturing and retail were countered by a modest job gain in construction."

The rise in joblessness comes even as the number of people in the state's work force falls. There were 4.69 million civilians working or actively seeking work last month, compared with 4.78 million one year earlier. The work force fell by 52,000, or 1.1 percent, from March to August, the department said.

Through August, Michigan's seasonally adjusted jobless rate averaged 10.6 percent, compared with 12.5 percent for all of 2010, the department said.

"With the news that Michigan's unemployment rate has risen again, now up to 11.2 percent, Michigan residents are starkly reminded that the governor and Republican leadership in the Legislature have done absolutely nothing to give relief to Michigan's unemployed and struggling families," House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel of Mount Morris Township said in an email to The Associated Press.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder said he has made job-creation his top priority since taking office in January. He succeeded Democrat Jennifer Granholm, who served eight years. Republicans also gained a majority in the state House this year for full control of the Legislature.

Sara Wurfel cited the passage of a state budget that is "structurally truly in balance" and the elimination of the state's Single Business Tax as making Michigan more business-friendly and helping pave the way for future economic growth.

"This can't happen overnight," Wurfel told The Associated Press. "More jobs were lost in Michigan over the last 10 years than in any other state. ... This is a huge challenge ahead."


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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