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Posted on Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Ann Arbor area has lowest unemployment in Michigan at 5 percent

By Amy Biolchini

Unemployment rates in all of Michigan’s major labor markets dropped a full percentage point from March to April, with Washtenaw County dropping half a point to 5 percent unemployment.

The county has the lowest joblessness rate in the state. A year ago, about 6 percent of county residents were unemployed.

Joblessness statewide in April is at 8 percent - compared with 10.1 percent in April 2011, according to figures released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

State labor analysts say April's drop was typical with seasonal hiring throughout most of the state.

Washtenaw County's low unemployment rate has recently been touted as making the area attractive to recently-graduated students.

The reductions were highest in the northernmost labor markets as hiring began for the summer tourism season.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate is at 7.7 percent - and eight of Michigan’s major metropolitan regions are at or below that level.

The five Michigan counties with the lowest unemployment are:

  • Washtenaw, 5 percent
  • Clinton, 5.4 percent
  • Barry, 5.8 percent
  • Eaton, 6.0 percent
  • Isabella, 6.1 percent

The five Michigan counties with the highest unemployment are:

  • Baraga, 16.3 percent
  • Montmorency, 15.3 percent
  • Presque Isle, 15.1 percent
  • Mackinac, 14.1 percent
  • Oscoda, 13.9 percent

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Fri, May 25, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

I hate sarcasm, but the Ann Arbor area has the lowest unemployment rate in Michigan? Wow I never would have guessed. I always assumed this without seeing the numbers, but still it's a great statistic for our area I suppose. Perhaps everyone who can't get work in Ann Arbor simply up-and-left and boosted the numbers. I would like to see more improvement nation wide for the bunches of unemployed people though. With all the requirements employers ask these days I can see how we've created chunks of the population that are unemployed and unemployable for most decent paying jobs.


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

After numerous layoffs and job losses at age 63, I give up! Ann Arbor might show this "improved" statistic for the mid-life to younger worker, but the senior work force is sorely underemployed. Thanks for all the "jobs"...I only have this to say, "B.S."!


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

OK I'll bite. If our unemployment rate is so low...what's the excuse for not having a job again?


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Where are all the haters who troll the boards when something like this comes out? Cat got your tongue?