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Posted on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 : 5:20 p.m.

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate falls to 8.4 percent in September

By Nathan Bomey

Washtenaw County's unemployment rate slipped from 8.8 percent in August to 8.4 percent in September, according to statistics released this afternoon by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

The county added 5,500 jobs from August to September, including 4,000 additional jobs in state government, a sector that includes the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.

"This is a typical seasonal gain for September," DELEG said in a news release.

The Ann Arbor region's unemployment rate is down from 8.9 percent in September 2009. Some 166,400 Washtenaw County residents have jobs, up from 164,900 a year ago. About 15,200 Washtenaw County residents are looking for a job but can't find one.

The number of jobs located in Washtenaw County is 191,300, which is up from 185,800 in August and 190,300 a year ago. Those figures reflect the total number of jobs in the county. Workers who have multiple jobs could be counted more than once, and people who commute into the county to work are also counted.

Washtenaw County has the third lowest unemployment rate among Michigan's 83 counties. Mackinac (5.8 percent) and Cheboygan (8.0 percent) have better rates.

Washtenaw County's rate peaked at 10.0 percent in July, the worst it had been in 13 months.

Michigan's unemployment rate in September was 13 percent.

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



Fri, Oct 29, 2010 : 1:52 p.m.

"This is a typical seasonal gain for September," DELEG said in a news release. Pretty straight-forward. School's starting again... UM starting again. Nothing fabulous here.


Fri, Oct 29, 2010 : 11:35 a.m.

I agree. It would be interesting to see how unemployment rates are actually calculated in detail and how these numbers differ from the actual number of adults who seeking work. And 1,500 new private sector jobs in one month is pretty decent. Is there also a breakdown per township and/or city in the county? Thanks.

C. Davis

Fri, Oct 29, 2010 : 8:59 a.m.

I always wonder when they say the unemployment rate has declined, whether they are using the number of people who no longer apply and receive unemployment benefits? There are those who have run out of unemployment benefit extensions and are still unemployed. Are those people included?


Fri, Oct 29, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

Also, the stores have started hiring seasonal workers for the holidays. But we will see an increase in unemployement numbers after the first of the year, as well as in the spring when all the temporary college staff is let go. So I can't see where we are making any great strides in creating real/permanent jobs.


Fri, Oct 29, 2010 : 8:41 a.m.

The colleges hired at the begining of the school year? I never would have expected that!


Thu, Oct 28, 2010 : 10:01 p.m.

5500-4000=1500 Private sector jobs I am glad we have more jobs, but eventually we need more private sector jobs to help pay for the public sector jobs. If the first number was a 4 rather than an 8, I would be out celebrating tonight!


Thu, Oct 28, 2010 : 5:53 p.m.

If you are unemployed and leave the state, you are not counted in either the population as a whole or the ranks of the unemployed. If large numbers of people do this, the unemployment rate "declines" somewhat, even though the area is at best, treading water. The number of jobs being created here is an absolute trickle compared to the number lost in SE Michigan over the past decade. Additionally, the population of the area has likely declined more than the smiley faces down at Hieftje Hall would care to admit. I bet the unemployment rate turns higher again, in the not too distant future.