Michigan's unemployment rate rises

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan's October unemployment rate surged to 9.3 percent, its highest rate since July 1992. The national unemployment rate last month also rose, to 6.5 percent. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth said Wednesday the state has been hurt by the weakening of the national economy. Its work force has fallen by 74,000 people, or 1.5 percent, since October 2007.

Michigan's year-to-date average jobless rate through October was 8.1 percent, above the 2007 annual average rate of 7.2 percent. The state had the nation's highest annual unemployment rate in 2006 and 2007, and is on track to be the highest again in 2008. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 5,000 jobs last month, while leisure and hospitality services lost 4,000.