Dubois County in 3-way tie for No. 1 employment


Dubois County and two others — Bartholomew and LaGrange counties — tied for the lowest unemployment in the state in August, according to a new state report.

Bartholomew County — home to Columbus and east of Bloomington — Dubois County and LaGrange County on Indiana’s northern border, each posted a 2.8 percent unemployment rate in August, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

For Dubois County, that amounted to an increase of two-tenths of a percent from the previous month (when the county was tied with Elkhart and Bartholomew counties at the top of Indiana’s 92-county list).

The state’s highest August unemployment — 5.9 percent — remained in Vermillion County, which is north of Terre Haute along the Indiana-Illinois border. Vermillion County’s rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month.

Rates in August rose in seven of Dubois County’s eight neighbors: Daviess, 3.2 percent (up from 2.8 percent); Martin, 3.0 percent (up from 2.8 percent); Orange, 4.0 percent (up from 3.8 percent); Perry, 4.1 percent (up from 3.7 percent); Pike, 3.7 percent (up from 3.4 percent); Spencer, 3.7 percent (up from 3.1 percent) and Warrick, 3.3 percent (up from 3.0 percent). Crawford County’s rate was unchanged for a third month at 4.2 percent.

The overall state rate in August was 3.5 percent (up one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.4 percent), which was below a national rate of 3.9 percent (unchanged). The national rate has been near historical lows and the U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August in another strong month of hiring, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Indiana’s total August labor force — it included both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment — was 3.39 million people. Indiana also had a 65.0 percent labor force participation rate, above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 23,755 people in August — 23,078 of whom were employed. That left 677 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in August 2017 was 3.0 percent, or two-tenths of a percent higher than the eighth month of 2018.

Indiana’s 3.5 percent August rate was lower than all of its neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were: Ohio, 4.6 percent (unchanged); Kentucky, 4.4 percent (up from 4.3 percent); Michigan, 4.1 percent (down from 4.3 percent); and Illinois, 4.1 percent (down from 4.2 percent). Other Midwest rates in August were: Minnesota, 2.9 percent (down from 3.0 percent); and Wisconsin, 3.0 percent (up from 2.9 percent).

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