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Jobless rate decreases in Michigan to lowest level in 5 years


LANSING, MI (WTVB) - Michigan's unemployment rate for April sank another one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.4 percent, making it the lowest jobless rate since July 2008, when the state was at 8.2 percent.  The most recent jobless number for Branch County was 8.2 percent, the March figure. Local numbers for April should be out at the end of next week. The state numbers released Wednesday showed an unemployment rate decrease for the third consecutive month, continuing a trend seen since September in which monthly jobless rates have either declined or stayed flat. 

The state's unemployment rate in April was nine-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 7.5 percent.  The U.S. jobless rate also inched downward over the month by one-tenth of a percentage point. Construction jobs continued to show weakness in 2013 while work in leisure and hospitality services displayed a solid advance so far this year.

In another report on the state’s economy, a University of Michigan economist told the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference four out of nine jobs Michigan lost between 2000 and 2010 will be replaced by the end of 2015.