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Posted on Thu, May 27, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate slips to 8.6 percent in April

By Nathan Bomey

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate sank from 9.6 percent in March to 8.6 percent in April as professional services companies hired workers and restaurants and hotels added jobs to handle summer demand.

The area lost 1,400 jobs from April 2009 to April 2010 but gained 200 jobs from March to April, according to statistics released this afternoon by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. Washtenaw's unemployment rate was the best among Michigan's 83 counties.

The business and professional services sector and leisure and hospitality sector each added 600 jobs from March to April. The information sector and financial industry each added 100 jobs. Manufacturing businesses cut 500 jobs during that time period.

Retail businesses in the Ann Arbor area suffered significant losses from April 2009 to April 2010. That sector cut about 5 percent of its jobs, the worst performance of Michigan's major metro areas, DELEG reported.

Michigan's unemployment rate in April slipped to 14.0 percent. The national rate was 9.9 percent.

The Ann Arbor region had 166,000 jobs in April with a work force totaling 181,700. The area had 169,200 jobs in April 2009 and a work force of 183,100.

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