November 1, 2014

County’s unemployment goes up again in October, EDC looking for help of any kind

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ARENAC COUNTY — Michigan’s unemployment saw a small drop in October, but the fewer number of unemployed people wasn’t paralleled in Arenac County.

In the county, the not seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased from 15.8-percent in September to 16.2-percent in October, according to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

Statewide, Michigan’s not seasonally adjusted rate was 14.3-percent, the DELEG said, while the seasonally adjusted rate was 15.1-percent, per U.S. Department of Labor statistics. Both of those numbers were lower than the month before.

The 16.2-percent rate in Arenac County is the highest monthly unemployment rate since July, when the percentage was 16.9.

The increasing unemployment percentage may be due to a big decrease in the county’s labor force, which shrunk by 249 persons from September to October. The number of employed persons in October also dropped drastically, as the figure, 6,389, is the lowest since April – 6,392 employed people. It is also 244 laborers lower than it was in September.

As for unemployed people in Arenac County, the number actually dropped, but only by five people, not nearly enough to make up for the dips in employment and the labor force.

EDC looking for business

Arenac County Economic Development Corporation Chairman Curt Hillman said the group is hoping for a turnaround in unemployment, and will work with just about anyone to bring jobs to Arenac County.

“The EDC is working on some different avenues to bring businesses into the county,” Hillman said, adding it is looking for, and at, any sort of grants and tax incentives that could lure employment opportunities to Arenac County.

He said the sector of a business isn’t of much concern to the EDC.

“We’re working with just about any business that’s interested,” he said. “We’re trying to get some businesses to locate to the area. … We’re just looking at area jobs.”

With winter approaching, Hillman said the season could be a “telling tale” for the future of some businesses struggling in the Standish Industrial Park. He said per discussions with representatives of those businesses, many didn’t get contracts and jobs in the summer that they were hoping would come through.

“It’ll be tough for them to get through the winter,” he said.

The unemployment statistics were released Dec. 1.

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