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Wed June 17, 2009
State jobless rate hits 14.1 percent
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING (MI) – Michigan's unemployment rate surged to 14.1% in May. That's a jump of more than a full percentage point from the month before.
There are 682,000 people out of work in Michigan and looking for jobs. When people who've given up looking, or are working part-time but seeking full-time employment are figured in, the rate of unemployment and under-employment goes to more than 20 percent.
Governor Granholm says the new numbers are grim, but not a surprise, given what's happening in the auto industry and the continued downsizing of the Detroit car companies and their suppliers.
The Governor said, "As we've said all along, this summer, things are going to get worse before they get better, and today's unemployment numbers are a reflection of that."
This is the state's highest jobless rate in almost 26 years. The federal government responded to the news by releasing more money to help Michigan pay for unemployment benefits.