9.8 unemployment rate drops Putnam into state's bottom 10

Monday, July 23, 2012

After showing recent signs of an improving unemployment rate, Putnam County sank to one of its worst rankings ever for June, posting a 9.8 percent jobless rate in figures released Friday.

That comes on the heels of an 8.4 percent unemployment rate for May, considered then a big improvement from double-digit jobless rates and bottom-10 appearances the county posted early in 2012.

The current rate has Putnam County tied for 10th worst among Indiana's 92 counties.

While Putnam fared better than all neighboring counties but Hendricks and Morgan back in May, in June it failed to top any of our neighbors.

In the area, Hendricks was best at 6.6 for seventh best, while Morgan, at 7.7 percent for 31st spot, was the only other neighbor in the top half of the rankings.

Montgomery was at 8.6 percent for 55th place in June, while Parke County tied for 68th overall with a 9.3 percent jobless figure and Owen tied for 71st with 9.4 rate.

Also sinking heavily for June was Clay County, now tied for the state's 14th worst jobless rate at 9.7 percent.

The state's best jobless rate belongs to Dubois County at 5.8 percent, followed by Hamilton at 6.0 percent, Boone at 6.2, Daviess and Bartholomew at 6.3, Warren at 6.4, Hendricks and Harrison at 6.6, Brown at 6.7, Wells and Martin at 6.8 percent.

On the bottom for June was Fayette County at 11.4 percent, followed by Vermillion (10.6), Wayne (10.5), Vigo (10.4), Grant (10.3), Sullivan (10.3), Blackford (10.1), Lawrence (10.1), Miami (9.9) and Putnam (9.8).

Tied with Putnam County for 10th worst are Henry, Scott and Starke counties.

Meanwhile, June marked the first increase in Indiana's unemployment rate in nearly a year.

For the eighth consecutive month Indiana added private sector jobs, with June's increase totaling 1,400. For 2012, the rate of job growth in the Hoosier state (1.5 percent) continues to far exceed the U.S. average (0.9 percent).

Since July 2009, the low point of employment, Indiana has added 140,400 private sector jobs and has significantly outpaced the national rate of growth during this period, (6.0 percent versus 3.3 percent).

"Manufacturing continues to lead the charge in Hoosier job growth, adding 2,800 jobs in June and 15,100 for 2012," said Scott B. Sanders, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. "Of the 140,400 private sector jobs Indiana has added since July 2009, almost half (60,300) have come from this sector alone."

While the Professional and Business Services (4,700) and Financial Activities (1,200) sectors also showed significant increases in June, Indiana's unemployment rate crept up 0.1 percent to 8.0 percent.

However, unemployment in the Hoosier state is still below the national rate of 8.2 percent and has remained so for three consecutive months. In June the unemployment rates of all of Indiana's neighbors either increased or remained stagnant, with the exception of Ohio.

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