Dubois, Gibson share No. 2 in unemployment


JASPER — Dubois and Gibson counties shared the second-lowest unemployment in the state in August, according to a new state report.

The two counties in the southwest corner of Indiana each posted a 2.4% unemployment rate in August. For Dubois County, that was down two-tenths of a percent from the previous month.

The state’s No. 1 spot went to Bartholomew County east of Bloomington and home to the City of Columbus with its 2.3% showing.

Dubois, Gibson and Bartholomew counties had been in a three-way tie for No. 1 the previous two months.

The state’s highest August unemployment — 4.7% — was found in Vermillion and Fayette counties. Vermillion County is north of Terre Haute along the Indiana-Illinois border. Fayette County is located in east-central Indiana.

August rates fell in seven of eight of Dubois County’s neighboring counties: Crawford, Daviess, Orange, Perry, Pike, Spencer and Warrick. Those rates were Crawford 3.7% (down from 4.0%); Daviess 2.5% (down from 2.8%; Orange 3.3% (down from 3.7%), Perry, 3.0% (down from 3.6%); Spencer, 2.7% (down from 3.2%); and Warrick, 2.8% (down from 3.2%). Martin County’s rate remained constant at 2.7%.

The overall state rate in August dropped another one-tenth of a percent, arriving at 3.3% and remaining lower than the national rate of 3.7%.

The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was at 3.3% was February 2018.

Indiana’s August labor force had a net decrease of 2,135 people over the previous month. That was a result of a decrease of 4,260 unemployed residents coupled with an increase of 2,125 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 64.6% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.2%.

Dubois County’s labor force consisted of 23,444 people in August — 22,893 of whom were employed. That left 551 classified as unemployed.

By way of comparison, the county’s rate in August 2018 was 2.8% or four-tenths of a percent higher than the eighth month of 2019.

Indiana’s 3.3% August rate was lower than all of its immediate neighboring states. Those other states’ rates were Ohio, 4.1% (up from 4.0%); Kentucky, 4.4% (up from 4.3%); Michigan, 4.2% (down from 4.3%); and Illinois, 4.0% (down from 4.2%). Other favorable Midwest rates in August were Minnesota, 3.3% (down from 3.4%), and Wisconsin, 3.1% (up from 3.0%).

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