COLDWATER (WTVB) - Branch County’s jobless rate could be headed back to double digits if the county follows the state’s lead.Michigan's unemployment rate has increased for four consecutive months and according to data released on Wednesday, now sits at 9.4 percent. That’s the August rate. Branch County’s numbers for last month don’t come out until next week, but the local rate for July was nine-and-a half percent. Total employment for August in Michigan declined by 18,000 as the total number of unemployed rose by 16,000. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, meaning the August 2012 figure is one percentage point below the same time last year. The national jobless rate decreased by the same amount. However, since April, the state's rate has risen by 1.1 percentage points.Michigan’s labor force level grew in the first three months of this year. However, it has been flat since March.
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