(LANSING) – Jobless rates went down during the month of March around southwest Michigan.
Data released by the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Technology shows that St. Joseph County's jobless rate dropped from 4.2 percent in February to 3.5 percent in March. One year ago, the County's rate was 4.1 percent.
Cass County had the largest drop from February to March, going from 5.5 percent to 4.4 percent. Last March, they were at 4.8 percent.
Hillsdale County saw their jobless rate drop a full point from February to March, going from 5.4 to 4.4 percent. That's slightly lower than March 2016 when they had a jobless rate of 4.8 percent.
Branch County also experienced a drop in their jobless rate, going from 5.2 percent in February to 4.5 percent in March. One year ago they were at 4.8 percent.
Dr. Leonidas Murembya, State Coordinator of Regional Economic Research, says the seasonal decline was primarily due to job improvements in the construction and leisure and hospitality sectors. There was also employment gains in government, health care services and manufacturing.