Kent Co. unemployment rate at pre-Great Recession levels

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new report shows Kent County was among a select number of counties nationwide making a big improvement in unemployment.

The current unemployment rate in Kent County is 3.5%.

Kent County was one of only 65 counties across the nation to reach unemployment numbers equal to those before the recession and the only county with a population over 500,000 to have done so.

Daryl Delabbio, the Kent County Administrator and Controller, attributes the new numbers to a combination of things including a collaboration between the public and private sector and ability to work together with non-profits to make the area a high quality place to live.

In the last three years, Kent County and The Right Place have been able to retain or create thousands of jobs.

“The good thing is a lot of people are working which is reflective in housing starts, in shortages of apartments etc. and etc. and good retail sales,” said Birgit Klohs, president of The Right Place. “On the other hand we also still need to retrain those who haven’t yet found a job and get them in the labor force too.”

Watch the entire interview with Delabbio and Klohs by clicking on the video player above.

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