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Michigan jobless rate hits 15.2% in August

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – There were 736,000 people without jobs and looking for work in Michigan last month as the ranks of the unemployed grew by 6,000. Michigan's unemployment rate bumped up very slightly in August to 15.2%. The July rate was 15%.

Bruce Weaver is with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. He says the state is not seeing enough new jobs created in other sectors to make up for the loss of factory and construction jobs.

"So though the majority of jobs over the year have been lost in areas like manufacturing and construction and retail, most of the other sectors of the economy have been down or relatively flat over the year," he said.

Weaver says health care is the only job sector posting modest gains in Michigan.

The state's jobless rate has been pretty stable all summer - hovering around 15% since June. But Weaver says that does not necessarily signal the worst is over.

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