Northeast Michigan joblessness falls

ALPENA — Northeast Michigan’s employment picture improved from March to April as fewer people went without work, driving down the unemployment rate.

About 6% of working-age residents across Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties couldn’t find a job last month, according to data released Thursday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget.

That’s down from 7% recorded in March, further evidence that most of the people laid off after the February closure of Decorative Panels International have been able to find work.

Northeast Michigan’s unemployment rate was about 6% in April 2023.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate stayed flat at about 4%.

That data is not seasonally adjusted.

Check out the interactive graphic below. Viewing on mobile? Turn your device horizontally for the best viewing experience. Story continues below graphic.

Northeast Michigan’s labor force — a measure of people either working or looking for work — stood at 26,197 last month, down 222 people from March. The labor force can shrink if people retire, die, move out of the area, or give up looking for work.

The labor force stood at 25,426 in April 2023.

But the number of unemployed Northeast Michiganders fell by 252 people from March to April to 1,548 last month, according to the state data.

That’s more than the 1,393 jobless Northeast Michiganders in April 2023.

Alpena County’s 4.2% unemployment rate last month tied with Mid-Michigan’s Gratiot and Shiawassee counties for the 29th lowest among the state’s 83 counties, according to the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget.

Presque Isle County’s 8.2% was the seventh-highest in the state.

Montmorency County’s 8.1% was the eighth-highest.

Alcona County had the state’s 11th-highest unemployment rate, at 7.5%.

The least-unemployed county in the state was Southeast Michigan’s Livingston County, at 2.5%.

The most-unemployed was Mackinac County, at 14.3%.


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