Top 3 counties with lowest unemployment rates in W. MI

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan is home to the county with the lowest unemployment rate in the state.

Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget released the list Thursday. At the top was Ottawa County, with a seasonally unadjusted jobless rate of 2.7 percent in September 2016.

Kent, Allegan and Clinton counties tied for the second lowest jobless rate, at 2.9 percent.

Ionia County ranked 11th, at 3.2 percent; Montcalm County was 26th at 3.9 percent; and Muskegon County ranked 45th at 4.3 percent – all above the statewide average of 4.4 percent.

>>PDF: September 2016 jobless rates in Michigan

For the fifth consecutive month, the Grand Rapids-Wyoming market, composed of Kent, Montcalm, Ottawa and Barry Counties, had the lowest unemployment rate among Michigan’s metro areas, at 2.9 percent. The state said the region added 4,300 non-farm jobs in September, growing faster than the state and nation. More than a third of those jobs were in educational services, as schools began a new school year.

Joblessness also dropped in the Muskegon MSA to 4.3 percent, according to the state.