U.P. Unemployment Picture Improving

It’s happening more slowly than we’d all like.

But there are some signs that even in the U.P., the job market is picking back up after years of decline.

Northern Initiatives of Marquette has released county–by–county unemployment figures for the area it serves.

They say in September, 9 of the 15 counties in the U.P. were back down below the 10% mark.

Northern Initiatives president Dennis West says the old norm for unemployment was that if you looked at the Lower Peninsula’s rate, you’d have to double it to get the U.P.’s figure.

But he says that’s no longer true — at 8.8%, the U.P.’s rate is lower than the state average.

U.P. unemployment as a whole has fallen overall each of the last two years.

Most individual counties have had declines in both years as well.

West says entrepreneurs are showing more confidence after very few had wanted to start new ventures two or three years ago.

Northern Initiatives provides loans and business development information to the U.P., the Wisconsin counties that border the U.P. as well as the northern half of the Lower Peninsula.