Summer jobs tamp down MI unemployment rate

LANSING, MI – Tourism-related summer hiring helped tamp down Michigan's July unemployment rate. It fell very slightly by two-tenths of a percentage point last month to 15%.

This was a small bit of welcome news. The last time the state's jobless rate dipped at all was more than a year ago.

But there are still 731,000 people out of work and looking for jobs in Michigan. The unemployment rate is six points higher than it was at this time last year, and it is still expected to climb.

Liz Boyd is Governor Granholm's press secretary. She says the governor wants Congress to approve another extension in emergency unemployment benefits.

"Many of our unemployed are already in their final weeks of unemployment benefits and face the gut-wrenching prospect of not having money to pay the mortgage, buy food, or put gas in their cars if they're out looking for work," she said.

Boyd says without the extension, as many as 100,000 job-seekers could run out of benefits by the end of the year.