Putnam jobless rate of 3.5 percent mirrors state figure

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The monthly Putnam County unemployment rate continues to mirror the state figure, as it has over the past three reporting periods of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

For July, Putnam County posted a 3.5 percent figure, tied for 52nd among Indiana’s 92 counties, the DWD reported in releasing its latest figures. The state non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate, meanwhile, came in at 3.4 percent for July.

That follows a pattern that dates back to May when Putnam County posted a 2.8 percent mark, identical to that of the state. June numbers followed that lead as both Putnam County and the state overall registered 3.1 percent jobless figures.

The unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards statistic which reflects the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force.

In July, Indiana’s labor force decreased by 1,077 from the previous month to a 4,008 decrease in employment and a 2,931 increase in unemployment, DWD reported.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to be both at near-record lows and well below the national numbers,” DWD Commissioner Stephen Braun said. “The recently announced Next Level Jobs grant from the governor will continue to support this momentum as its collaboration among employers and critical stakeholders will develop new talent and resources at the local level. This program and others designed to improve skills are an indication that the Hoosier work, ethic is as strong as ever and will prevail amidst workforce challenges and opportunities.”

Meanwhile, again this month the Putnam jobless figure is better than that of all other west-central Indiana counties -- Clay (3.7), Parke (3.7), Vigo (4.1), Sullivan (4.2), Owen (4.3), Greene (4.9) and Vermillion (5.3).

And with the exception of Parke and Clay (tied for 25th worst), the other neighboring west-central counties all find themselves lounging in the bottom 10 of the state rankings for July. That includes Vermillion and Greene, which posted the state’s worst and third worst unemployment figures, respectively, at 5.3 and 4.9 percent. Sullivan is 10th worst at 3.5 percent, while Owen is tied for sixth worst at 3.4 percent.

Among contiguous counties east and north of Putnam, Hendricks once again is among Indiana’s best at 2.9 percent, only good for a tie for 12th overall for July. Meanwhile, Montgomery County posted a tie for 21st best at 3.0, and Morgan continues its stay in the top half of the state rankings at 3.3 percent, which computes to a tie for 37th best.

The top 10 Indiana county jobless rates for July are (in order): Elkhart (2.5), LaGrange, Dubois and Adams (all 2.6), Bartholomew and Kosciusko (2.7), Whitley, Steuben, Hamilton, Decatur and Daviess (all tied at 2.8).

At the opposite end of the unemployment spectrum, the state’s bottom 10 is again topped by Vermillion County at 5.3 percent, followed by Fayette (5.1), Greene and Lake (4.9), Delaware (4.4), Newton, Jasper, Lawrence and Owen counties tied at 4.3, followed by LaPorte and Sullivan at 4.2.

Indiana’s jobless rate for July was 3.4 percent, or 3.1 percent seasonally adjusted. The Hoosier unemployment rate for July was lower than neighboring states of Kentucky (5.3 percent), Ohio (5.2 percent), Illinois (4.8 percent) and Michigan (3.7 percent).

Nationally, the July jobless figure was 4.3 percent.

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