(JACKSON) – Modest jobless rate increases were reported in July around Southwest Michigan.
According to the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, St. Joseph County saw their jobless rate increase from 6.1 to 6.9 percent. That's still better than July 2013 when the county's jobless rate was at 9.7 percent.
Branch County saw a rise from 7.1 to 7.6 percent and Cass County went from 6.6 to 7.2 percent.
Statewide the unemployment rate for July was 6.5 percent, up slightly from June's rate of 6.3 percent. One year ago the statewide unemployment rate was 7.7 percent.
Leonidas Murembya, State Coordinator for the Regional Labor Market and Economic Research, says job cuts occurred throughout the region in private and public schools, as part-time support staff were temporarily laid off for the summer break.
In addition, civilian labor force levels in July were generally flat in regional metro areas, and declined in the majority of non-metro counties.