The 2011 Putnam County jobless picture has seen more ups and downs than an elevator, but the latest figures are an exact copy of last month's numbers.
After posting slightly improving spring numbers during March, April and May -- and then experiencing a minimal misstep for June -- the local unemployment figure tumbled into double-digit despair for July and has stayed there for the August report.
The latest unemployment figures, released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, show the Putnam unemployment figure holding steady at 10.5 percent for August, tied with Jennings, Vermillion and Grant counties for 10th worst in the state.
That comes on the heels of the local July rate tying for sixth worst (or 86th best) among Indiana's 92 counties.
For August, only Fayette (12.1 percent), Blackford (11.2), Henry, Scott and Wayne (all 10.8), Clay and Elkhart (10.7) and Miami and Lawrence (10.6) recorded worse jobless rates than Putnam County.
Following a startling 12.3 percent jobless figure in February, Putnam County unemployment numbers had inched their way toward relative respectability at 11.2 percent for March, 9.5 in April and 8.8 for May before slipping to 9.5 for June and 10.5 for July.
Among neighboring counties, Putnam ranked worse than everyone but Clay, which was sixth worst at 10.7 percent.
Hendricks continues to rank the best in the area (13th overall) at 7.1 percent for August. Morgan County was at 8.2 percent, good for 39th overall, while Montgomery was 54th best at 8.9 percent.
Owen County was tied for 52nd at 8.8 percent for August figures, while Parke County slipped to a tie for 58th at 9.2 percent.
The state's best jobless rate again belongs to Dubois County, tied with Daviess County this month, at 6.1 percent. Hamilton was third at 6.5, with Switzerland (6.5) and Warrick (6.6) rounding out the top five.
Like other neighboring states, Indiana saw a rise in its unemployment rate in August. The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went from 8.5 to 8.7 percent in August.
The U.S. rate remained flat 9.1 percent this month. Indiana continues to be below the national average and that of all neighboring states for the seventh month in a row.
"The July revision of private sector jobs largely offsets the August decrease, making the job numbers essentially the same as last month," said Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. "While the number of long-term unemployed is still too high, for the first time since November of 2007, fewer than 50,000 individuals are collecting state unemployment insurance."
Ohio posted a 9.1 percent rate for August, while Kentucky remained at 9.5 percent, Illinois slipped to 9.9 percent, and Michigan saw a jump to an 11.2 percent jobless rate.