Michigan Unemployment Edges Up

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Michigan's unemployment rate climbed three-tenths of a percent in July, to six-point-eight percent.

The climb resulted largely from short-term layoffs in the auto industry as plants shut down for their annual summer retooling break.

Some economists were surprised by the size of the jump, even taking the auto industry layoffs into account.

Bruce Weaver of the state Bureau of Labor Market Information says the seasonal job cuts were somewhat larger than what is normally expected for July.

The jobless rate was below last July's state rate of seven and half percent. But it was well above the most recent national rate of five and a half percent. Total employment statewide declined for the second consecutive month.

Over the past year, manufacturing jobs have dropped by nearly five percent.