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9:15 am
Wed March 25, 2009

Jobless rate hits 12%

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Michigan's unemployment rate grew to 12% in February. That's the highest it's been since 1984.

The state Department of Labor and Economic Growth says the February job losses were moderated by companies calling workers back from temporary layoffs, but that was not enough to stop the unemployment rate from bumping up slightly from 11.6% to 12%.

That number does not include people who have given up looking for work, or who are working part-time but seeking full-time employment. That brings the number of people out of work in Michigan to 19.1%.

The department says 215,000 Michigan workers have lost jobs in the past year. The employment picture is not expected to improve as the Detroit automakers continue to issue pink slips. The national jobless rate also grew last month to 8.1%.