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Posted on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate rose slightly in June

By Lizzy Alfs

Washtenaw County’s unemployment rate edged upward to 6.2 percent in June, up from 5.5 percent in May and 5 percent in April, according to statistics released Thursday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The data, which is not seasonally adjusted, cites a seasonal loss in government education-related jobs as the primary factor for the higher unemployment rate.

“Unemployment increased monthly throughout the region due to a seasonal influx of unemployed job seekers entering the summer job market, and due to job reductions of support staff in state government education,” according to the data.

Washtenaw County’s labor force increased by .5 percent in June as job seekers entered the market. At the same time, the county lost 2,800 jobs in the government sector in June, due largely to seasonal cuts.

Annually, the county’s jobless rates have still declined each consecutive year since 2009. The unemployment rate in June 2011 was 7.4 percent, compared with last month’s 6.2 percent.

Washtenaw County’s unemployment rate in June was the second lowest among Michigan’s 83 counties. The lowest in the state was Mackinac County at 4.5 percent. Oakland County's rate was 8.8 percent and Wayne County's was 11.4 percent.

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



Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

Governor Snyder and the Republican legislature in Lansing has failed to provide any kind of meaningful jobs program, allowing overall unemployment to languish at about 400,000 Michigan citizens. What could they do to increase employment? First, collect information on what jobs are being offered and create a state-wide database listing education and skills required for each job offering. Next, collect information about who is unemployed and create a state-wise database listing each available worker with his personal education level and skills. Then use the computer files to match jobs with the appropriate jobless. Unmatched jobs will allow assessment of what education and skills the unemployed must acquire in order to qualify for employment. THEN Governor Snyder and the legislature can facilitate the unemployed in obtaining job-oriented education and skills. Of course an appropriate effort will require financial investment in order to make education affordable for the unemployed who have very little if any money to invest in education or the acquisition of skills. Vocational education can be expanded through existing community colleges and universities and new programs supported. Perhaps the state can subsidize companies for hiring individuals who need on-the-job training before they become productive employees. Those remaining unemployed after depleting the available job database can be employed in new infrastructure projects financed by stimulus money, both federal and state. The question is not how to get people employed so much as it is the question of whether the Governor and state legislature really wants to aim for full employment. The process of achieving greater employment will be accompanied by increased disposable income that will stimulate the economy and increase the state's GDP and tax revenue.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

I thought Obama was going to fix this? It has been almost 4 years and nothing positive out of the White House


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

And the GOP opposes tax rates equivalent to those under Clinton, claiming it would kill job creation. Meanwhile they Whine about deficits. There seems to be a pretty large disconnect within their ideology. It's OK, though, they will vote for the guy that raised gun license fees over the guy that actually signed legislation allowing looser gun rules, for the guy that raised fees on businesses and against the guy that gave businesses tax breaks.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

clownfish, Quite correct, again. However, you need to point out that the 3.3% unemployment rate in 2000 was during the last year of Clinton's administration (when the budget deficit was eliminated as well). Likewise, the 11.3% unemployment in January 2009 was after eight years of the Bush administration and at the time of President Obama's inauguration. With the unceasing opposition of the entire Republican party it is amazing that the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.2% under President Obama's term in office. Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, has repeatedly stated that his only efforts will be to make President Obama a one-term President. And he has been true to his word when you consider the paltry number of laws past by the present session of Congress and the record number of filibusters and threatened filibusters by Republicans in the Senate.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

MI unemployment Aug 2009- 14.9% June 2012- 8.5% Vs 3.3% in 2000 11.3% in January 2009. Clearly 3.3% to 11.3% is better than 14.9% to 8.5%, isn't it? Nope, nothing positive at all.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

These are at least reasonable numbers, when they report the Federal Rate of Unemployment they always have to adjust the week before numbers upward because they reported them too low! What did you do during the Great Recession of Obama's Presidency?


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

clownfish, What would you expect from a diehard Right-Wing Republican? XMO is for small government (and maybe no government at all) for which he should be pleased at the steady decline in state and municipal employees which contributes largely to the upward movement in unemployment. Who else thinks that these are "reasonable numbers"? You are generous in trying to educate XMO but I doubt that he is receptive.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Grew my business by 70%! Watched as MI unemployment went from 14.9% in August 2009 to 8.5% in 2012. Did you know that the recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009? Do you know what a recession is and how it is defined? Is is too much for you to get your facts right before you make a post?


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Lets blame Bush!