County tops state with lowest unemployment

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

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

Dubois County’s rate dropped three-tenths of a percent in December, falling to 2.0% to lead the state’s 92 counties. Next came Bartholomew, Boone, Hamilton, Jackson, Martin and Tipton counties with all six tied with 2.1% rates, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s highest December unemployment — 5.0% — was found in Vermillion County, north of Terre Haute along the Indiana-Illinois border.

December rates were a mixed bag among Dubois County’s neighboring counties, with four going up and four dropping. Those rates were: Crawford 4.2%, (up from 3.6%); Daviess, 2.4% (down from 2.5%); Martin, 2.1% (down from 2.5%) Orange, 3.1% (down from 3.4%); Perry, 3.2% (up from 3.0%); Pike, 3.3% (up from 2.9%); Spencer, 3.2% (up from 3.0%) and Warrick, 2.7% (down from 2.8%).

The overall state rate in December remained at 3.2%, continuing to be lower than the national rate of 3.5%.

The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than 3.2% was two decades ago: December 2000.

Indiana’s December labor force had a net increase of 1,948 people over the previous month. That was a result of a decrease of three unemployed residents coupled with an increase of 1,951 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 3.38 million, and the state’s 64.4% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.2%.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 22,959 people in December — 22,503 of whom were employed. That left 456 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in December 2018 was 2.4% or four-tenths of a percent higher than the 12th month of 2019.

Indiana’s 3.2% December rate was lower than all of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 4.2% (unchanged); Kentucky, 4.3% (down from 4.4%); Michigan, 3.9% (down from 4.0%); and Illinois, 3.7% (down from 3.8%). Other favorable Midwest rates in December were Minnesota, 3.3% (unchanged), and Wisconsin, 3.4% (up from 3.3%).




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