County tops state with low May unemployment


After being tied with Bartholomew County on April’s leaderboard, Dubois County claimed sole possession of Indiana’s lowest unemployment rate last month.

Dubois County’s rate held steady at 2.1% in May to lead the state’s 92 counties. Bartholomew and Gibson counties were next with 2.2% rates, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s highest May unemployment — 4.5% — was found in Howard County. That was actually down six-tenths of a percent from the previous month for the county north of Terre Haute along the Indiana-Illinois border.

Rates in May rose in six of eight of Dubois County’s neighboring counties. Those rates were Daviess 2.3% (up from 2.2%); Orange, 3.3% (up from 3.1%); Perry, 2.9% (up from 2.8%); Pike, 3.0% (up from 2.8%); Spencer, 2.6% (up from 2.5%); and Warrick, 2.6% (up from 2.5%). The rate in Martin County, 2.5%, was unchanged and Crawford County’s rate fell, going from 3.6% in April to 3.3% in May.

The overall state rate in May was once again unchanged from the previous month at 3.6%. The national rate also stood at 3.6%, its lowest level since December 1969.

Indiana’s May labor force had a net decrease of 10,677 people over the previous month, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. This was a result of a decrease of 2,312 unemployed residents and a decrease of 8,365 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.4 million, and the state’s 65% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.8%.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 23,410 people in May — 22,911 of whom were employed. That left 499 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in May 2018 was 2.4%, or three-tenths of a percent higher than the fifth month of 2019.

Indiana’s 3.6 percent May rate was lower than all of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 4.1% (down from 4.3%); Kentucky, 4.0% (unchanged); Michigan, 4.2% (up from 4.1%); and Illinois, 4.4% (unchanged). Other favorable Midwest rates in May were Minnesota, 3.3% (unchanged), and Wisconsin, 2.8% (unchanged).

More on