Unemployment rate lower

Unemployment in St. Joseph County was 1 percent lower in April compared to March.

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives show the county’s April unemployment figure was 5.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March. The 5.5 percent rate was also lower than the county’s 6.9 percent unemployment compared to the same month in 2013.

The county also had a lower unemployment rate in April against the state average, which was 7.3 percent for the month.

Agency officials said seasonal hiring, specifically in construction, retail, and leisure and hospitality, contributed to the monthly decrease in joblessness.

Van Buren, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties had the highest April unemployment rate in the region, with 7.5 percent, while St. Joseph County’s was the month’s lowest in the 13-market region.

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