Good news keeps on coming for Putnam County job front
Following recent good news of future employment additions on the horizon for at least two Greencastle factories, the most current jobless figures also present a positive sign for the local community.
While forthcoming expansion projects for both Heartland Automotive and Chiyoda USA won't figure into employment numbers for several months or more, the latest Putnam County jobless rate dropped by a point and a half in the recently released April figures.
In numbers released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Putnam County came in at 7.8 percent unemployed for April, good for a tie for 41st best among Indiana's 92 counties.
After posting a 9.3 percent jobless rate for March -- just two months removed from the double-digit deflation of 10.0 percent reported for January -- Putnam's ranking managed to outpace all but two contiguous counties last month.
While that 7.8 percent April unemployment rate tied Putnam with Floyd County in the monthly rankings, only Hendricks (the state's eighth best figure at 6.2 percent) and Montgomery (7.4, good for a tie for 31st) did better.
Meanwhile, Owen County, at 10.0 percent, tumbled into the bottom 10 of the jobless ranks at No. 9, while Parke County, at 9.4 percent, came in tied for 20th worst in Indiana.
Clay County actually rose to the state's 30th worst ranking with a 9.0 percent jobless rate, up from 25th worst in March. Morgan was at 8.3 percent for the 53rd spot overall in the state rankings.
For April, the best jobless figure in the state again belongs to Dubois County at 5.2 percent, followed by Hamilton at 5.3, Daviess at 5.5, Martin and Knox at 6.0 percent, Bartholomew and Pulaski tied at 6.1, Hendricks at 6.2, Warrick at 6.3, followed by Monroe, Kosciusko and Jackson all tied for 10th at 6.4.
At the bottom of the Hoosier jobless rankings for April again were Vermillion and Fayette counties, tied with 11.4 percent unemployment. Rounding out the bottom 10 were Lawrence (11.0), Sullivan (10.7), Crawford and Starke (10.3), LaPorte and Vigo (10.2), Owen (10.0) and Fountain (9.9).
Overall, Indiana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percent to 8.5 percent in April, the largest one-month decrease in over a year
Private sector employment in the Hoosier State also increased by 6,800 jobs over the past month and exceeded the national rate of growth. Indiana has now experienced private sector employment growth in 37 of the past 40 months.
April also recorded the biggest drop in the total number of unemployed Hoosiers in over a year. There were 7,800 fewer Hoosiers reported unemployed in April than in March. Weekly claims for unemployment insurance also decreased by more than 14 percent over the past month and initial claims continue to remain below 2005 levels.
"April's employment picture is cause for cautious optimism," Scott B. Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, noted. "There is quite a bit more work to do, but things seem to be moving in the right direction, as evidenced by the largest drop in the unemployment rate in over a year."
Sanders also noted that while the number of manufacturing jobs declined in April, manufacturing hours, which climbed to 42.4, have either remained consistent or increased for the fifth consecutive month and have been above the national average for the past four months.
The sustained increase in hours for Indiana's manufacturing production workers combined with sizeable increases in temporary manufacturing worker hires point to tangible growth potential in the sector, he added.