County in 4-way tie for No. 1 employment

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

After being knotted in a runner-up race the previous month, Dubois County found itself among four counties tied at No. 1 in the state’s latest employment report.

Dubois County’s rate fell three-tenths of a percent in February, to 2.4%, which was a state-leading rate equaled by Boone, Hamilton and Martin counties, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Disruptions to the economy caused by COVID-19 have yet to be reflected in the state’s reporting.

For a second consecutive month, Workforce Development said the highest Indiana unemployment was found in Crawford County, although Dubois County’s neighbor to the east saw its February rate fall five-tenths of a percent, to 5.6%.

Most — but not all — of Dubois County’s other neighboring counties also saw their February rates fall. Those rates were: Daviess, 2.8% (down from 3.0%); Martin, 2.4% (down from 2.9%) Orange, 3.8% (unchanged); Perry, 3.4% (down from 3.6%); Pike, 3.8% (down from 4.0%); Spencer, 4.0% up from 3.9%) and Warrick, 2.9% (down from 3.2%).

The overall state rate in February remained at 3.1%, which was lower than the national rate of 3.5%.

Indiana’s February labor force had a net increase of 3,114 people over the previous month. That was a result of a decrease of 1,599 unemployed residents coupled with an increase of 4,713 employed residents, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stood at 3.39 million, and the state’s 64.4% labor force participation rate remained above the national rate of 63.4%.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 22,955 people in February — 22,399 of whom were employed. That left 556 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in February 2019 was 3.1% or seven-tenths of a percent higher than the second month of this year.

Indiana’s 3.1% February rate was lower than all of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 4.1% (unchanged); Kentucky, 4.2% (down from 4.3%); Michigan, 3.6% (down from 3.8%); and Illinois, 3.4% (down from 3.5%). Other favorable Midwest rates in February were Minnesota, 3.1% (down from 3.2%), and Wisconsin, 3.5% (unchanged).




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