Putnam jobless rate among state's worst

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Despite recent good news for the Putnam County employment picture, the latest statistics put the local jobless rate at one of its worst levels ever.

Putnam County, once a regular among the top 10 best unemployment rates in the state during most of the 1990s, posted a 12.3 percent jobless mark during February, according to Indiana Department of Workforce Development statistics.

That figure ranks the county 86th -- or sixth worst (in a tie with Jennings County in southeastern Indiana) -- among the 92 Hoosier counties. Only Franklin (12.4 percent), Newton (12.6), Crawford (12.7), Fayette (12.7) and Vermillion (13.7) ranked lower than Putnam County in the most recent statistical survey.

Daviess County in southern Indiana posted the best jobless rate for February at 5.7 percent.

Among neighboring counties, Hendricks ranked the best (12th overall) at 7.6 percent. Montgomery County was 22nd at 8.6 percent, while Morgan (10 percent) was tied for 45th best and Parke was tied for 50th best at 10.1 percent.

Owen County, at 10.6 percent, was tied for 60th overall, while Clay County logged an 11.8 percent February rate that was good for 78th overall.

The Putnam County jobless rate figures to improve later this year with at least two Greencastle industries, Crown Equipment Corp. and Chiyoda, having already announced expansion projects and future employment additions.

Statewide, Indiana's preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate actually dropped 0.3 percent, to 8.8 percent in February. It marks the first time since December 2008 the state's unemployment rate has been less than 9 percent.

Indiana's rate is now just below the national average of 8.9 percent and below that of all neighboring states. Illinois is at 8.9 percent. Ohio is at 9.2, while both Kentucky and Michigan recorded 10.4 percent jobless rates last month.

Private sector employment in Indiana declined in February (-1,600).

"The number of Hoosiers claiming state unemployment insurance benefits is less than half the number it was two years ago," Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development Mark W. Everson said. "Moreover, new claims for unemployment insurance are now at a level not seen since 2006."

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  • Years back Mayor Pickett of Brazil had a plan in place that had Great Dane and some of the other factories located in Brazil hiring Clay County residents first. If Greencastles factories and Walmart Dist. would give Putnam County residents jobs over Owen, Clay and Hendricks County travelers we would have one of the lower unemployment rates.

    -- Posted by Trying hard on Sat, Mar 26, 2011, at 11:04 AM
  • There are plenty of employment opportunities here...if you want to work at a gas station or pizza restaurant.

    -- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sat, Mar 26, 2011, at 7:22 PM
  • Some of people that are on unemployment don't even look for jobs. When they file their weekly claim and have to list 3 places they've applied at, a lot of people make them up. To some people its easier to sit at home collecting unemployment than to work at McDonald's or some other job they feel is "beneath" them. Sometimes, you just have to put your pride aside and take whatever you can get for now. While doing so, further your education so you can get a better job in the future. Just a suggestion though.

    -- Posted by ruserious27 on Sun, Mar 27, 2011, at 7:29 AM
  • Very easy statements to make, ruserious27. Of course theres also the REALITY for some people on unemployment...the ones looking to move on after being laid off, at least.

    Like if they took that job at McDonalds that doesn't pay as much as the unemployment insurance...they still can't pay the mortgage.

    Or the fact that by taking that McDs job, you screw yourself out of being able to get benefits again later when you inevitably need them, once you realize that burger flipping isn't actually paying the bills.

    And I do agree that furthering ones education IS important to getting a career, trying to attend classes when you have a family to support isn't always the easiest thing to do. Ivy Tech, for example, only offers so many classes online, and once you get to the core of many degrees, classes are typically offered weekdays, between 8am-5pm. Good luck with that schedule, and working with a family.

    So really, the ideal is to attend what you can, while you can, while on unemployment. At least get started towards a degree and hopefully a better future...

    -- Posted by stranded67 on Sun, Mar 27, 2011, at 7:31 PM
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