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December unemployment rate increased

December’s unemployment rate in St. Joseph County bucked a months-long trend and increased from November’s figure.

The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 7.6 percent December unemployment rate was a nine-tenths percent of an increase from November. Still, the December 2012 rate was 1.5 percent less than the same month one year earlier.

The agency said the loss of seasonal jobs and the volume of people looking for full-time work contributed to an increased unemployment rate throughout the region in December.

St. Joseph County remained below the state unemployment average, which was 8.9 percent in December.

At 6.3 percent, Barry County had the lowest unemployment rate in December in the region.