Jobless rate grows to 12.9%

Lansing, MI – Michigan's jobless rate grew to 12.9% in April. This is the highest the jobless rate has been since November of 1983, when it hit 13%.

The state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth says downsizing in manufacturing and construction was the leading cause of 18,000 more people becoming unemployed last month.

The official unemployment rate measures people who are looking for work. When people who have quit looking, or who are working part-time but seeking full-time employment are counted, the rate is 18.9%.

There is a glimmer of good news in the jobless numbers. The pace of job losses slowed significantly in April, compared to the first three months of the year. But economists warn the pace could pick up again as restructuring Detroit auto companies continue to cut jobs and supplier contracts.