(JACKSON) – Jobless rates creeped up slightly around Southwest Michigan in the month of June.
Information released by the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives shows the jobless rate in St. Joseph County went up four-tenths of percent from 5.7 to 6.1 percent. One year ago the County's jobless rate was 8.3 percent.
Branch County also saw an increase of four-tenths of a percent from 6.7 to 7.1 percent. That's still better than 2013 when the jobless rate was 9.1 percent.
Cass County saw the largest increase in the area of seven-tenths of a percent, going from 5.9 to 6.6 percent. Last year they were at 8.9 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate went from 7.3 percent in May to 7.9 percent in June, which is lower than last year at this time when it was 9.4 percent.
Analyst Leonidas Murembya says part of the reason for the expansion in the regional workforce was due to young adults and seasonal workers continuing to enter the job market. Additionally, June marks the start of summer break for many school districts along with some colleges and universities.