(JACKSON) – For the most part, the May unemployment rates were stable around Southwest Michigan.
Information released by the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives shows the unemployment rate in St. Joseph County in May was 5.7 percent. That's up from 5.5 percent in April, but still lower than in May 2013 when the rate was 7.5 percent.
Branch County's unemployment rate dropped from 5.7 percent in April to 5.3 percent in May while Cass County stayed at 5.9 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate remained the same from April to May at 7.3 percent. That's better than May 2013 when the state wide unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.
Labor market analysts Leonidas Murembya says seasonal factors influenced regional labor markets in May as employment and the number of unemployed rose in most areas. Labor force levels rose throughout the region as college students and seasonal workers entered the job market.
Jobs rose over the month in leisure and hospitality, construction, retail trade along with professional and business services.