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Posted on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Washtenaw County's unemployment drops slightly in February

By Lizzy Alfs

Washtenaw County’s unemployment rate returned to 5.4 percent in February after rising to 5.6 in January, according to statistics released today by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The county’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in December 2011, but rose in January after the area lost 5,300 jobs, including 2,800 in the state and local government sector. The jobs loss was mostly attributable to seasonal cuts to support staff at educational institutions, according to the state.

The Washtenaw County unemployment rate in February was the lowest among Michigan’s 83 counties. The next lowest was Clinton County at 6.3 percent. Oakland County’s rate was 8.5 percent and Wayne County’s was 11.1 percent.

The state’s total unemployment rate in February dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.7 in January, marking an improvement over February 2011’s rate of 11.3 percent.

A recent economic forecast conducted by University of Michigan economists for predicts the Washtenaw County unemployment rate will continue to drop as the area adds 11,000 jobs over a three-year stretch.

It predicts the local unemployment rate will fall to an average of 5.2 percent in 2013 and 4.7 percent in 2014.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

Oh thank God. The free world as we know it is saved for another month.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

All Hail King Snyder!