DETROIT (WWJ) – The latest Economic Security Bulletin from the Michigan League for Human Services shows that 75 out of 83 counties had a decrease in Family Independence Program cases in the fourth quarter of 2011.

WWJ’s Gary Lundy reports that overall, cash assistance cases dropped 24 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011 with 24 counties showing a drop of more than 25 percent.

The report also shows a two-percent drop in Food Assistance Program cases during those same quarters. And the unemployment rate dropped as well.

Though reasons for case closures haven’t been released, the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder began using retroactive time limits to end cash assistance in October, the time period reflected in the report.

The unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from 10.8 percent in the same time period in the previous year. There was a 19.6 percent drop in the number of unemployed in Michigan.

The 10 counties with the biggest drop in FIP cases were:

Cass (-45.8 percent)
Lapeer (-42.3 percent)
Montmorency (-39.6 percent)
Delta (-39.4 percent)
Gogebic (-37.6 percent)
Dickinson (-37.5 percent)
Montcalm (-37 percent)
Manistee (-35.3 percent)
St. Joseph (-32.5 percent)
Gratiot (-32.4 percent)


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