Washtenaw County's unemployment drifts up slightly to 8.8 percent
Washtenaw County's unemployment rate edged up to 8.8 percent in May, according to statistics released this afternoon by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.
The slight drift upward came after the rate sunk a full percentage point from 9.6 percent in March to 8.6 percent in April. Among Michigan's 83 counties, Washtenaw ranks second best behind Mackinac County in the percentage of workers with jobs.
The increase in May was largely attributable to seasonal losses in state government jobs, a sector that encompasses the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, which employ fewer workers between academic years. Total employment in the Ann Arbor region's government sector dropped 4,100 from April to March.
Other sectors, however, posted job gains, including leisure and hospitality industry, which added 500 jobs.
Washtenaw's unemployment rate stood steady at 8.8 percent from May
2009 to May 2010, although the area lost 1,500 jobs during that period. Some 180,700 people are employed in Washtenaw County.
The state's unemployment rate slipped from 14 percent in April to 13.6 percent in May, marking the first time in four years Michigan has not had the worst jobless rate in the country. That title now belongs to Nevada.