Unemployment in Adams County climbed slightly during May to 7.3 percent — up from a four-year low of 7.0 percent one month earlier but still a half percent below readings from May of 2011.
After starting 2012 with a jobless rate of 8.5 percent, Adams County saw four consecutive months of decline in unemployment figures prior to the release of May's statistics.
The monthly report issued Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development showed that Indiana's unemployment rate remained steady at 7.9 percent, 0.3 percent below the national rate of 8.2 percent. For the second month in a row Indiana’s rate was below the national average.
According to Scott B. Sanders, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, Indiana added 7,700 new private sector jobs in May. That marked the seventh consecutive month of job growth and the best December to May period in over a decade, Sanders said.
“Indiana continues to be a leader in job growth. Since the beginning of the year, the state has added 38,700 total private sector jobs led by 12,200 in manufacturing,” the commissioner said.
Adams County's 7.3 percent unemployment reading for May was the 35th lowest in the state. Labor force estimates included in the latest state report show that 1,109 members of the county's total workforce of 15,143 remained without work during May.
The county's April jobless rate was the lowest since October of 2008, when local unemployment levels were at 7.4 percent. The last time the county's rate had dipped as low as 7 percent was in July of 2008.
May jobless rates for other counties in east-central and northeast Indiana included Jay, 6.8 percent; Wells, 6.1; Allen, 7.7; Huntington, 7.5; DeKalb, 8.3; Noble, 8.4; and Whitley, 6.7 percent.
Fayette County featured the state's highest unemployment rate during May at 10.6 percent, followed by Vermillion, 10.4; Sullivan, 10.0; Blackford, Wayne and Lawrence, 9.8; Vigo, 9.7; Starke, 9.6; and Grant, LaPorte, Miami and Scott, each at 9.5 percent.
Among neighboring states, only Ohio at 7.3 percent was lower than Indiana's 7.9 percent jobless rate for May. Kentucky's unemployment rate was at 8.2 percent, Michigan was 8.5 percent and Illinois' May jobless rate was 8.7 percent.
Adams County jobless
rates, last 12 months
7.3% in May 2012
7.0% in April 2012
8.0% in March 2012
8.3% in February 2012
8.5% in January 2012
8.5 % in December 2011
8.3% in November 2011
8.1% in October 2011
7.8% in September 2011
8.0% in August 2011
8.1% in July 2011
8.0% in June 2011