County in 3-way tie for No. 2 in employment


After having sole possession of the No. 1 slot on December’s leaderboard, Dubois County found itself in a three-way tie for runner-up when new employment numbers were released Tuesday.

Dubois County’s rate rose seven-tenths of a percent in January, equalling the rates in LaGrange and Boone counties at 2.7%. LaGrange County is on Indiana’s northern border and Boone County borders Indianapolis.

But the only county to do better than the runner-up counties was Hamilton County, with a 2.6% rate, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

All eight of Dubois County’s neighboring counties saw their January rates rise. Those rates were: Crawford 6.1% (up from 4.2%); Daviess, 3.0% (up from 2.4%); Martin, 2.9% (up from 2.1%) Orange, 3.8% (up from 3.1%); Perry, 3.6% (up from 3.2%); Pike, 4.0% (up from 3.3%); Spencer, 3.9% (up from 3.2%) and Warrick, 3.2% (up from 2.7%).

Crawford County’s 6.1% rate was the highest in the state in January.

The overall state rate in January dropped one-tenth of a percent to 3.1%, remaining lower than the national rate of 3.6%.

The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than 3.1% was November 2000. The state’s January report held no predictions on what pandemic measures could mean to future unemployment rates.

Indiana’s January labor force had a net increase of 3,749 people over the previous month. That was a result of a decrease of 877 unemployed residents coupled with an increase of 4,626 employed residents, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.39 million, and the state’s 64.4% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.4%.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 22,959 people in January — 22,344 of whom were employed. That left 615 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in January 2019 was 3.0% or three-tenths of a percent higher than the first month of this year.

Indiana’s 3.1% January rate was lower than all of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 4.1% (down from 4.2%); Kentucky, 4.3% (unchanged); Michigan, 3.8% (down from 3.9%); and Illinois, 3.5% (down from 3.7%). Other favorable Midwest rates in January were Minnesota, 3.2% (down from 3.3%), and Wisconsin, 3.5% (up from 3.4%).

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