Why it Matters:
The unemployment rate represents the percentage of the total labor pool that is seeking work but has not yet found a job.  The labor pool consists of people who are working or actively looking for work. “Discouraged workers” (people who have given up looking for work) are not reflected in this number, as they are not part of the total labor pool.  If the economy improves, more people start the search for work; this means that sometimes, the unemployment rate can go up even as more people have jobs.

Marquette County’s unemployment rate has declined significantly since a recession peak of 11.2% in March, 2009.  Unemployment spiked a bit when the Empire Mine closed, but a robust construction season has helped to absorb some of the impact.  Our lowest monthly unemployment rates are typically in the fall when construction season is still going and NMU students are in town.

 Updated: 10/16/2018