For the second straight month, the Putnam County jobless rate has crept upward, hitting the 9.9 percent mark in the latest figures.
That December rate is a full point worse than the November figure of 8.9, which had restored Putnam County to the middle of the pack among Indiana's 92 counties. The latest figure leaves Putnam County tied for 68th place with Randolph County.
But that still rates better than two neighboring counties, Clay (10.2 percent) in 76th place and Parke (10.3) in 77th.
Contiguous counties Hendricks, Morgan, Montgomery and Owen all fared better than Putnam in December.
Hendricks was 11th overall at 7.2 percent for December, while Morgan and Montgomery were tied for 39th position at 8.6 percent unemployment. Owen County was at 9.6 percent for a tied for 63rd.
The state's best jobless rate again belongs to Dubois County at 5.9 percent, followed by Daviess and Hamilton at 6.1, Knox at 6.5 and Switzerland at 6.7 rounding out the top five.
Also in the top 10 for December are Warren (6.8), Warrick, Posey and Monroe (all 6.9), and Bartholomew at 7.0.
On the bottom once again is Fayette County at 12.3 percent, followed by Vermillion (12.2), Elkhart (11.2), Tipton (11.0), Blackford (10.9), Jennings (10.8), Henry, Lawrence, Miami, Scott and Starke (all 10.7).
Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate remained steady at 9.0 percent for the second straight month in December even as the state added 12,000 private sector jobs.
Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Mark W. Everson called December "one of the best months for job creation in over a decade."
Indiana led the nation in job creation by adding 12,000 jobs in December, ahead of Texas and California. The state's labor force grew by 17,200, the largest increase in over 35 years, holding the unemployment rate steady at 9.0 percent.
Since July, the state's labor force has increased by 2.2 percent (tied with North Dakota), while the national labor force increased by 0.3 percent. The national unemployment rate declined from a revised 8.7 percent to 8.5 percent.
"We led the nation in December job creation," Everson said. "Unlike our neighbors who are seeing more discouraged workers, Indiana's labor force is growing sharply as Hoosiers return to work."
Indiana's 9.0 percent jobless rate was below the December national unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. It was also better than all but Ohio (8.1) among adjoining states.
Kentucky was at 9.1 percent. Michigan was at 9.3, while Illinois dipped below double figures to a 9.8 percent jobless rate.