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Branch County jobless rate declines in November, but less people working


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County’s jobless rate continues to decline, going down by a half-a-percent but the improvement is mostly due to a reduction in the number of individuals actively seeking employment. The November rate was 6.8%, much better than a year ago when it was 8.3%. However, in November of 2011, the workforce numbered 19,212 while a year later, it had shrunk to 18,739. The state said retail trade jobs did rise seasonally as merchants hired for the holiday season.

However this was offset by job cuts in other seasonal industries. By comparison to Branch County’s 6.8% unemployment rate, Hillsdale County was at 8%, St. Joseph County 6.7%, Calhoun County 5.9%, and Kalamazoo County 5.6%.