Jobless rate stable at 14.6% in December


Michigan's jobless rate was stable in December at 14.6%. That's a drop of one-tenth of a percentage point from the November rate.

The state Department of Labor and Economic Growth says the slight drop in the rate was the result of fewer people looking for jobs in December. There were 701,000 people in Michigan looking for work last month.

When people who gave up looking for work and part-timers seeking full-time positions are included, Michigan's unemployment and underemployment rate in December was 20.9%.

Michigan's jobless rate has hovered at about 15% since June. It hit that level following a first half of the year that logged massive job losses due to automotive restructuring and the national recession. Michigan's 2009 average unemployment rate was 14%, the state's highest annual rate since 1983. High unemployment is expected to linger throughout 2010.