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Unemployment increases

The May unemployment rate in St. Joseph County increased by eight-tenths of a percent compared to a month earlier.

The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 7.7 percent May unemployment rate was more than April’s 6.9 percent.

May’s unemployment rate, however, was eight-tenths of a percent less than the same month one year earlier, when the figure was 8.8 percent.

St. Joseph County remained below the state unemployment average, which was 8.4 percent in May.

The agency said more people seeking employment contributed to the region’s one-month unemployment hike.

At 5.6 percent, Barry County had the region’s lowest unemployment rate in May, while Hillsdale County had the highest, with 9.7 percent.