Midwest Memo: Unemployment rises in Ohio, small-business loan program starts in Michigan

Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Unemployment rises in Ohio. Unemployment rates climbed in 84 of Ohio’s 88 counties in June, providing more evidence the economy has slowed. It’s the first time since early 2010 the Buckeye State’s unemployment rate rose. The state rate climbed to 8.8 percent in June, up from 8.6 percent in May, according to Cincinnati.com. Manufacturing jobs declined by approximately 3,000 in June, but government jobs diminished more. More than 7,000 were lost last month.

2. Loan program starts in Michigan. Michigan will be the first state eligible for small-business loans given by a federal government program to businesses investing in clean energy or located in economically troubled areas, according to the Associated Press. Details of the plan, part of President Obama’s “Start-Up America” initiative, are expected to be announced this afternoon. The initiative combines private institutional investors and federal funds to invest in targeted companies.

3. Gary, Ind. endures property-tax nightmare. One in three homeowners in Gary, Ind., has missed a property-tax payment. Worse, the city only collects 72.4 percent of its expected revenues, the lowest percentage of any Indiana city. Our partner WBEZ examines a wave of property-tax problems affecting Gary and the consequences of the shortfall, such as keeping police on their beats and providing basic education functions.

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