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Unemployment rises

The July unemployment rate in St. Joseph County rose by more than a full percent compared to the previous month.

The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 9.8 percent July unemployment rate was more than June’s 8.4 percent.

Still, the July 2013 unemployment rate was one-tenths of a percent less than the same month one year earlier, when the figure was 9.9 percent.

St. Joseph County hovered above the state unemployment average, which was 9.7 percent in July.

The agency said seasonal layoffs in the field of education, where support staff members are typically out of work with the end of the school year, impacted the monthly figures.

At 6.5 percent, Barry County had the region’s lowest unemployment rate in July, while Van Buren County had the highest, with 11 percent.