(LANSING) – Unemployment rates went up around Southwest Michigan from March to April.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget say the data released Friday reflected the first month of the initial impact of COVID-19 on employment and unemployment trends in regional labor markets. Most of the COVID-19 related layoffs began in the second half of March and continued through all of April.
St. Joseph County saw the largest increase in the area, going from a March unemployment figure of 3.5 percent to 30.3 percent in April. That's a jump of 26.8 percent.
Branch County went from 3.4 percent unemployment in March to 23 percent in April, a growth of 19.6 percent. Cass County saw their unemployment rate increase by 21 percent, going from 3.9 to 24.9 percent. Hillsdale County had an increase in their unemployment from 4 percent in March to 27.7 percent in April, which is a difference of 23.7 percent.
Statewide in Michigan, the April unemployment rate was 23.8 percent. That's a 19.6 percent increase from March, when it was 4.2 percent.
Jason Palmer, Director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives says jobless rates in April reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says industry jobs plunged throughout the state, particularly in the Leisure and Hospitality and Manufacturing sectors.
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