|Mid-Michigan gained nearly 1,500 jobs between April 2011 and April 2012, according to an analysis of state labor data.
The four-county region of Clare, Gratiot, Isabella and Montcalm counties saw its unemployment rate fall from 10 percent a year ago to 8.3 percent in April, according to the analysis of data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
“Michigan’s local labor markets recorded typical patterns in April with seasonal hiring throughout most of the state,” said Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives. “Over the past year, nearly all of the state’s regions have shown an improved labor market environment.”
Nearly all of the drop in the unemployment rate was caused by an increase in the number of jobs. Isabella County gained 618 jobs, Montcalm’s job count increased by 421, Gratiot was up 275 and Clare County saw 161 more people working in April of this year compared to the same month the year before.The labor force, defined as people working or seeking work, got smaller in Clare, Gratiot and Montcalm counties, but that drop was nearly offset by an increase in the number of people working or trying to find a job in Isabella County. The net change in the labor force in the four-county region was a drop of 92 people out of a labor force of about 92,000.
Clare County continued to have the region’s highest unemployment rate at 11.0 percent. That was down from 12.7 percent in March and 13.1 percent in April 2011.
It was the 53rd consecutive month of double-digit unemployment in Clare County.
Montcalm County saw an unemployment rate of 10.2 percent, down from 11.5 percent in March and 12.2 percent in April 2011. It was the 50th consecutive month of double-digit unemployment in Montcalm County.
Gratiot County was at 8.5 percent in April, down from 9.6 percent the month before and 10.2 percent the year before.
Isabella County’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in April from 7 percent the month before. It had been 7.4 percent in April 2011.