Dubois County tops state with unemployment


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

Dubois County’s rate dropped five-tenths of a percent in September, falling to 1.9% to lead the state’s 92 counties. Bartholomew, Boone and Tipton counties were next with 2.0% rates, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s highest September unemployment — 4.4% — was found in east-central Indiana’s Fayette County.

September rates fell in all of Dubois County’s eight neighboring counties: Crawford, Daviess, Martin, Orange, Perry, Pike, Spencer and Warrick. Those rates were Crawford, 3.1% (down from 3.7%); Daviess, 2.1% (down from 2.5%); Martin, 2.3% (down from 2.7%); Orange, 2.8% (down from 3.3%), Perry, 2.8% (down from 3.0%); Spencer, 2.6% (down from 2.7%); and Warrick, 2.4% (down from 2.8%).

The overall state rate in September dropped another one-tenth of a percent, arriving at 3.2% and remaining lower than the national rate of 3.5%.

The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than 3.2% was December 2000. The last time Dubois County’s rate dropped lower than 1.9% was April 2001.

Indiana’s September labor force had a net decrease of 2,722 people over the previous month. That was a result of a decrease of 2,934 unemployed residents coupled with an increase of 212 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 64.5% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.2%.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 22,777 people in September — 22,335 of whom were employed. That left 442 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in September 2018 was 2.1% or two-tenths of a percent higher than the ninth month of 2019.

Indiana’s 3.2% September rate was lower than all of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 4.2% (up from 4.1%); Kentucky, 4.4% (unchanged); Michigan, 4.2% (unchanged); and Illinois, 3.9% (down from 4.0%). Other favorable Midwest rates in September were Minnesota, 3.2% (down from 3.3%), and Wisconsin, 3.2% (up from 3.1%).

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