JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The economy is steadily improving across mid-Michigan, and in Jackson County the unemployment rate continues to drop.
6 News has a look at the economic health of the community.
Anna McNall is pounding the pavement and the keyboard looking for work.
“Anybody that wants to take me on, I’m a quick learner,” McNall said.
As she completes her resume on a computer at Michigan Works! in Jackson, McNall is encouraged to hear the unemployment rate is dropping.
“Just knowing there’s hope out there for me keeps my spirits up,” McNall said.
Jim Coutou from the southeast region of Michigan Works! says the unemployment rate in the Jackson area is 4.7 percent.
“Anything below double digits is a good number and we’re trending in the right direction. And it’s been trending downward. Yeah 4.7 percent is a good number,” Coutu said.
That’s lower than the statewide unemployment average of 5.2 percent.
Other counties in the region are doing even better, going as low as 3 percent in Washtenaw County.
Coutu says the recovering economy and growing industries are providing more jobs.
“Healthcare, IT, transportation, manufacturing and obviously this time of year, construction,” Coutu said.
Michigan Works! says right now the area doesn’t have enough skilled workers to fill hundreds of open jobs.
So to see that unemployment rate go down even further, workers have to commit to retraining.
Coutu says Michigan Works! provides assistance for jobseekers and employers to train workers for the skills of today.
“With technology changing and employers going to advanced manufacturing, you have to really know that going forward, I’m going to have to continuously going to have to go to school and upgrade my skill set,” Coutu said.
Looking for employment in sales or the service industry, McNall realizes a little bit more training can go a long way.
“I definitely do think about that. Having the high school diploma is definitely a plus but having college looks better on a resume,” McNall said.
Michigan Works! expects the positive outlook to continue through the rest of 2018.