Berrien County Unemployment Up Slightly In 4th Quarter

The Upjohn Institute for Employment Research has released its latest economic report for west Michigan, finding the region’s employment situation remained mostly flat in the fourth quarter of 2016. The institute’s Brian Pittelko tells WSJM News things were down in the Benton Harbor-Niles market.

“Employment fell slightly,” Pittelko said. “It dropped by 0.5%. There were some losses in service industry employment, trade, transportation, utilities, which means retail and wholesale trades, and leisure and hospitality, which was a little odd.”

Why employment was down isn’t yet clear, although Pittelko tells us it may have just been a glitch. The Upjohn Institute’s Jim Robey tells us the slight slowdown isn’t necessarily an indication of a troubled future, though.

“Across the country, including Michigan and west Michigan, the economy is quite strong,” Robey said. “Moody’s came out this week with their assessment for the potential of a recession in the next 6 months and it’s gone down to 6% from a year ago being close to 20%.”

Unemployment in Berrien County stood at about 4.5%. That’s similar to other parts of west Michigan.