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Unemployment rate increased

February’s unemployment rate in St. Joseph County increased for the second consecutive month.

The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 8.3 percent January unemployment rate was seven-tenths percent of an increase from December. Still, the January 2013 rate was 1.8 percent less than the same month one year earlier.

The agency said the loss of seasonal, construction, leisure and hospitality jobs contributed to an increased unemployment rate throughout the region in January.

St. Joseph County remained below the state unemployment average, which was 9.7 percent in January.

At 6.5 percent, Barry County had the lowest unemployment rate in January in the region, while Van Buren County had the highest, with 10.9 percent.

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