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Fri May 4, 2012
In this morning's news...
National unemployment numbers released this morning
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released unemployment numbers this morning. The unemployment rate "was little changed at 8.1 percent."
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 for the month of April.
As Mark Memmott at NPR's Two-Way blog points out, "the economy needs to add more than 115,000 jobs a month to bring down the unemployment rate." So why the decline?
Mostly because the size of the "civilian labor force" shrank by 342,000 people, to 154.4 million. And the labor force "participation rate" edged down to 63.6 percent from 63.8 percent.
Assesing Michigan's fruit crop, worst in history
The fruit crop in Michigan got bitten by the bizarre weather. High temperatures in March brought the blossoms out, and freezes and frosts in April killed emerging buds.
More from the AP:
Farmers and extension agents say the one-two punch has all but wiped out the tart cherry crop, while other orchard fruits such as sweet cherries, apples, pears and peaches have suffered extensive damage. Juice grapes are another casualty.
Fifty-four-year-old David Rabe of Oceana County says he's been farming nearly all his life and has never seen it this bad. Only his asparagus may survive.
Flooding after rains move through the state
The flooding has caused problems for drivers this morning. Some roads in the Detroit and Flint areas have been closed.
The AP reports that both directions of I-75 at I-696 in suburban Detroit were closed today as the morning rush hour period approached.
A flash flood warning was issued for the Flint area, including Genesee and Shiawassee, counties due to the storm.
The National Weather Service has issued flood advisories, watches and warnings for parts of Michigan's Lower Peninsula following the storms.
More from the Flint Journal:
Hit with more than 5 inches of rain overnight, the county's creeks, streams and drains are swelling as residents cope with their own localized flooding this morning.
The National Weather Service said today that 5.4 inches of rain fell overnight, almost twice as much as the area usually gets in the entire month of May.
"It's bad everywhere," said county Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright. "The whole county got hit pretty well."
The 5.4 inches of rain recorded at Bishop overnight surpassed the total, normal monthly rainfall total for a typical month of May -- 3 inches.