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Posted on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate hits lowest point since April 2009

By Nathan Bomey

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in October, its lowest point in more than a year and a half, according to statistics released this afternoon by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

The county's unemployment rate slipped from 8.4 percent in September to 7.8 percent in October, DELEG reported. That marks the lowest point since April 2009, when the rate stood at 7.6 percent.

Washtenaw County now has the second lowest unemployment rate among the state's 83 counties. Mackinac County had the best rate at 7.2 percent. Oakland County's rate was 12.1 percent (45th), and Wayne County's rate was 14.4 percent (70th).

Washtenaw now has 195,200 jobs, up 2,500 from September and exactly even since October 2009. That figure includes the number of jobs that are based within the county's borders.

The additional jobs can be attributed mostly to seasonal hiring at school districts and universities, as well as some holiday retail jobs, DELEG indicated.

The number of employed Washtenaw County residents was 169,500 in October, up 2,200 from September and up 1,100 since October 2009.

The region's labor force, a figure that represents the number of employed workers plus the number of jobseekers, was 183,800 in October, up 1,200 from September but down 500 from October 2009.

The Ann Arbor region has added 1,500 jobs in professional and business services over the last year, a gain "largely due to increased hiring in local temporary employment agencies and staffing companies, which are being utilized to some extent by area auto and related manufacturers," DELEG said.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

Bogus numbers, it still sucks.

Fred Geisler

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:05 p.m.

Actually, the unemployment rate includes people who are no longer collecting unemployment insurance, but at least claim to still be looking for work. "Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who were not working and were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed. Receiving benefits from the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program has no bearing on whether a person is classified as unemployed."


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:55 p.m.

Of course it hit its lowest point in a year and a half...all the people that hit the end of their extensions are no longer included on the list. Instead, they are now on the list of the homeless population in Washtenaw County.