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Improved unemployment rates for Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids region has seen a slight improvement in their jobless rates.

The Grand Rapids region has seen a slight improvement in their jobless rates.

A small sign of economic hope for the struggling state of Michigan was evident, as the Grand Rapids Press reported that the unemployment rate in Grand Rapids, Michigan curtailed in October.

The Grand Rapids area is made up of a four-county region, which saw the unemployment rates drop to roughly 10 percent in October, 0.5 percentage points better than September’s numbers, and 1.1 points less than last year, according to the paper.

The paper notes reasons for the slight drop is due to school department jobs that were filled when the school year started. However, with summer jobs and seasonal work coming to an end with the fall, the region’s jobless rate continues moving in the wrong direction.

Western Michigan municipalities saw improvement with a few losses, says the paper. "This does not necessarily indicate significant improvement in local labor markets," economic analyst Jason Palmer told the paper. "Throughout West Michigan, competition for available jobs remains high, and jobless rates remain well above pre-recessionary levels."

The National Association for Business Economics recently said the national unemployment rate is projected to still be above 9 percent at the end of 2011, which would be the weakest post-recession job recovery on record.