Dubois County employment rebounds


One month after posting its worst unemployment rate in almost 38 years because of the COVID-19 shutdown, Dubois County employment rebounded during May, according to a new state report.

Dubois County’s jobless rate reached 10.6% in April. In May, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development says that rate dropped by almost 5% as the county registered a 5.7% showing.

In doing so, Dubois County employment rose from sixth in the ranking of the state’s 92 counties to No. 2. The only county to have done better was Daviess County with its rate of 5.6% (down from 8.4%). Martin County was No. 3 in the ranking at 5.9% (down from 8.8%).

The worst May rate was again found in Howard County, home to Kokomo in north-central Indiana. Howard County’s rate in May was 21.8% (down from 34.1%).

Current unemployment reporting represents a coordinated effort throughout the nation with a specified reporting time frame that targets the week that includes the 12th day of the month.

The new state report placed Indiana’s overall unemployment rate in May at 12.3%, down from 16.9% and lower than the national rate of 13.3%. Indiana’s unemployment rate had been higher than the national rate in April.

Indiana’s May labor force had a net increase of 110,780 people over the previous month. That was a result of a decrease of 156,903 unemployed residents coupled with an increase of 267,683 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 3.33 million, and the state’s 63.2% labor force participation rate remained above the national rate of 60.8%.

Dubois County’s neighboring counties also saw their May rates fall. Those rates were: Daviess, 5.6% (down from 8.4%); Martin, 5.9% (down from 8.8%) Orange, 18.5% (down from 25.8%); Perry, 11.7% (down from 17.8%); Pike, 9.8% (down from 15.2%); Spencer, 8.0% (down from 13.1%) and Warrick, 9.0% (down from 13.1%).

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 22,020 people in May — 20,769 of whom were employed. That left 1,251 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in May 2019 was 2.1% or 3.6% lower than the fifth month of this year.

Indiana’s 12.3% May rate was on par with some of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 13.7% (down from 16.8%); Kentucky, 11.0% (down from 15.4%); Michigan, 21.2% (down from 22.7%); and Illinois, 15.2% (down from 16.4%). Other Midwest rates in May were Minnesota, 9.9% (up from 8.1%), and Wisconsin, 12.0% (down from 14.1%).

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