Putnam jobless rate creeps back up to 4.7 percent for June

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Keeping with the current theme of things this week, Putnam County has probably earned itself a red ribbon for its latest unemployment efforts.

Not grand champion caliber. Not the blue-ribbon effort of a top 20 finish or the white-ribbon placing of the bottom third, but a middle-of-the-road ranking worthy of the middle of the pack.

For after recording its best jobless rate in more than nine months at 4.3 percent during May, Putnam County has slipped back a bit at 4.7 percent for June, according to the latest figures released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

That current 4.7 percent number ties Putnam County with Henry, Knox, Perry, Ripley and Wabash counties for 52nd overall in the unemployment rankings among Indiana's 92 counties.

Such a figure essentially represents the chronically unemployed locally. Or, as Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Kristin Clary explained at the recent City Council meeting, the available local workforce is basically down to those who have transportation or child care issues that keep them from working fulltime or those who know they could not pass the required drug test to get a fulltime job.

Every one of Greencastle's factories and distribution centers, Clary told the Council, would eagerly take 25 good local employees and put them to work immediately.

While the 4.7 percent jobless rate represents a small downturn locally, earlier this year Putnam County had posted jobless figures of 5.0 percent for January, 5.6 percent for February, 5.7 for March and 5.0 for April.

Meanwhile, once again this month, the Putnam numbers are better than all other west-central Indiana counties of Clay (5.0), Parke (5.1), Owen (5.6), Vigo (5.5), Sullivan (6.0), Vermillion (6.6) and Greene (6.7).

And with the exception of Parke (23rd worst) and Clay (25th worst), the other west-central counties all find themselves mired in the state's bottom 10 for June, including Greene,which posted the state's worst unemployment figure of 6.7 percent.

Among counties contiguous to Putnam to the north and east, Hendricks again ranks among Indiana's best with a 3.7 percent jobless rate, good for a tie for sixth best in the state. Montgomery County was tied for 20th at 4.0 percent in the latest figures, while Morgan was tied for 37th best at 4.3.

In order, the top 10 Hoosier jobless rates by county for June are: Dubois (3.3), Hamilton (3.4), Bartholomew (3.5), Boone and White (both at 3.6), followed by Hendricks, Steuben and Tipton counties (all at 3.7). Rounding out the top 10 in a six-way tie for ninth are Wells, LaGrange, Johnson, Decatur, Clinton and Adams counties.

On the opposite end of the jobless spectrum, the state's bottom 10 was topped by Greene County (6.7 percent), followed by Vermillion and Lake (6.6), Fayette, Fountain and Sullivan (6.0), LaPorte and Vigo (5.9), , Delaware (5.7) and a three-way tie for 10th worst with Owen, Lawrence and Blackford counties all at 5.6 percent.

Indiana's jobless rate dropped to 4.6 percent for June, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the previous month to 4.8 percent, just below the national average.

Hoosier job sectors experiencing the biggest gains in June were Leisure and Hospitality, Construction, Private Education and Health Services and Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which added more than 9,000 workers in total.

The Indiana labor force gained more than 8,500 individuals in June. Since January 2013, Indiana's private sector has grown by 148,000 jobs.

Among neighboring states, Michigan had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.6 percent. Indiana at 4.8 percent, was followed by Ohio and Kentucky at 5.0 percent, and Illinois at 6.2 percent.

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  • If you are unable to work in a factory in Greencastle, you can forget about a good job.

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Tue, Jul 26, 2016, at 5:18 PM
  • I see help wanted signs all over Greencastle, there are jobs to be had. Go out and get them. If one isn't enough, get two!!

    -- Posted by Falcon9 on Thu, Jul 28, 2016, at 9:05 AM
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