Two months after working its way into basically the top third of the state's unemployment rankings, the Putnam County jobless rate suffered a second straight setback Friday as November figures were announced.
After posting progressively better figures in August and September, Putnam County has since slumped to an 8.0 jobless rate for November on the heels of a 7.1 percent mark for October.
The new rate puts Putnam County in a tie with neighboring Montgomery County and Clinton County for 50th best among the state's 92 counties, the latest Indiana Department of Workforce Development monthly reveal.
The November rate was a drop locally from a 7.1 percent October mark that had positioned the Putnam figure as 40th best in the state.
The new 8.0 percent figure for November also ranks better than all surrounding counties except Hendricks, which perpetually lands in the top 10, and Morgan. Things are no different this month for Hendricks, which posted a 6.6 percent jobless mark, good for ninth overall in Indiana. Morgan, meanwhile, crept ahead of us at 7.6 percent for 40th overall.
Among other neighboring counties, Montgomery tied with Putnam at 8.0 percent, while Owen County, at 9.0 unemployment, ranked 69th for the month and Parke posted a 9.2 percent jobless figure for 75th overall.
Clay County escaped the bottom 10 this month, coming in tied for 12th worst (77th best) at 9.4 percent.
The best jobless figure in the state still belongs to Dubois County at 5.5 percent, followed by Daviess and Martin at 5.9, Hamilton and Bartholomew at 6.0, Posey at 6.1 percent, Monroe and Harrison at 6.4, Warrick and Hendricks tied for ninth at 6.6.
At the bottom of the November rankings is Sullivan County at 11.1 percent, followed by Vermillion (11.0), Fayette (10.9), Lawrence (10.1), Miami and Starke (9.9), Henry and LaPorte (9.7), Wayne (9.6), Blackford and Madison (9.5), rounding out the bottom 10 counties.
Indiana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in November at 8.0 percent. Unemployment in the Hoosier State remains slightly above the national rate.
For November, Indiana (at 8.0 percent) fared better than all neighboring states except Ohio (6.8). Kentucky was at 8.2, Illinois at 8.7 and Michigan at 8.9.
While Indiana has experienced one of the strongest periods of job growth in more than a decade over the past year, private sector jobs contracted by 9,800 in November, mainly due to losses in the seasonally-volatile construction industry.
"While November's news is not characteristic of what Indiana has experienced lately, we continue to significantly outpace the national average of job growth over the past year," said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. "Even taking into account last month's losses, the Hoosier State has still added more than 52,000 jobs since November of 2011 and nearly 144,000 since July 2009, the low point of employment during the most recent recession."
Employment sectors in Indiana that continue to exceed the national rate of growth over the past year include Manufacturing (4.7 percent versus 1.5 percent), Leisure and Hospitality (3.6 percent versus 2.3 percent), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (2.7 percent versus 1.6 percent) and Private Educational and Health Services (2.1 percent versus 2.0 percent).