Looking at the numbers, it's tough to tell whether the latest unemployment figures have been naughty or nice to Putnam County.
While the local jobless figure is up just slightly, our November ranking is actually one spot better than last month.
After being among the 10 worst county jobless rates as recently as August, the Putnam unemployment picture has improved enough to put the local ranking in a tie for 49th, close to the middle of the pack among Indiana's 92 counties.
But the latest figures, released just in time for Christmas by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, show a slight increase from 8.8 to 8.9 percent for November.
The latest unemployment rate for Putnam County ties it with Owen and Wells counties for 49th best in the state.
The November numbers place Putnam better than both Parke and Clay counties, at 9.5 and 9.6 percent, respectively, to rank tied for 62nd and 65th overall.
Meanwhile, ranking better than Putnam County for the latest period were neighboring Hendricks, at 7.4 percent in 17th place; Morgan, at 8.5 percent, tied for 41st overall; and Montgomery, steady at 8.6 percent for the third straight month, in a tie for 43rd.
The state's best jobless rate again belongs to Dubois County at 5.9 percent, followed by Daviess at 6.0 with Hamilton at 6.1, Posey at 6.2 and Knox at 6.3 rounding out the top five.
Also in the top 10 for November are Switzerland (6.4), Warrick and Monroe (both 6.5), Warren (6.7), followed by Pulaski and Bartholomew both at 7.0.
On the bottom once again is Fayette County at 11.9, followed by Huntington and Vermillion (11.4), Blackford and Elkhart (11.3), Miami (10.9), Henry and Scott (10.7), Jennings, Starke and Wayne counties (10.5).
Six other Indiana counties also experienced double-digit unemployment during November -- Grant and Madison (both 10.3), Noble (10.2), Decatur and Randolph (both 10.1) and Delaware (10.0).
Indiana's unemployment rate remained steady at 9.0 percent for November after going up for five straight months.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said the state's labor force has grown by nearly 50,000 since July as more people are looking for jobs. The agency reports about 275,000 people were listed as unemployed in Indiana last month.
The agency said Indiana's non-farm employment remained flat because the increase in private sector jobs was offset by a decrease in government employment. Indiana also saw the loss of 3,200 manufacturing jobs in November.
Indiana's unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national rate of 8.6 percent. The state's jobless figure had been climbing since bottoming at 8.2 percent in April and May.
Ohio topped Indiana in posting an 8.5 percent rate for November, while Kentucky was at 9.4 percent. Michigan dipped below double digits at 9.8, while Illinois stayed at a 10.0 percent jobless rate.
Indiana's labor force has increased by 36,000 in the last three months, the largest three-month increase since late 1993.