The Putnam County jobless picture continued its 2011 ups and downs, finishing September in a tie for 64th best among Indiana's 92 counties after languishing in the bottom 10 a month ago.
The latest unemployment figures, released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, put the Putnam rate for September at 9.3 percent, rebounding from a 10.5 percent jobless figure for August that ranked as 10th worst in the state.
That August number had come on the heels of the local July rate tying for sixth worst (or 86th best) among Indiana's 92 counties.
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 August.
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 still ranked worse than all but Clay, which was ninth worst for September at 10.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Hendricks continues to rank the best in the area (11th overall) at 7.0 percent for September. Morgan County was at 8.2 percent, good for 43rd overall, while Montgomery was 52nd best at 8.6 percent.
Parke County slipped to a tie for 59th at 9.3 percent, while Owen County was tied for 62nd at 9.2 percent for September.
The state's best jobless rate again belongs to Dubois County, tied with Daviess County again this month, at 6.0 percent. Hamilton was third at 6.2, with Warrick (6.4) and Switzerland (6.4) rounding out the top five.
Indiana added 8,800 private sector jobs in September, but also experienced a slight rise in the unemployment rate. The preliminary seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate went from 8.7 to 8.9 percent in September.
The U.S. rate remained flat at 9.1 percent this month. Indiana continues to be below all of our neighboring states for the eighth month in a row.
"The increase of 8,800 jobs is good news," Mark W. Everson, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, said. "Together with the upward revision of August jobs by 2,800 we've seen a total increase of 11,600 since the last report. Nevertheless, more Hoosiers returned to the labor force to look for work, so there was an uptick in the unemployment rate."
Ohio posted a 9.1 percent rate for September, while Kentucky was at 9.7 percent, Illinois slipped to 10.0 percent, and Michigan saw an 11.1 percent jobless rate.