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County's jobless rate lowest in near 4 years

May 21, 2012

April jobless (released May 2012)

Adams County jobless
rates, last 12 months
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
7.8% in May 2011
7.6% in April 2011

    Unemployment in Adams County is at its lowest level in nearly four years, according to April jobless figures issued Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The county's April's unemployment rate was 7.0 percent, down a full percent from one month earlier, when 8.0 percent of Adams County's workforce was without work.
    The county's rate for April is the lowest since October of 2008, when local unemployment levels were at 7.4 percent. The last time the county's rate dipped as low as 7 percent was in July of 2008. One year ago the county jobless rate was 7.6 percent. As recently as January of this year that rate had climbed 8.5 percent.
    "I'm ecstatic; those are fantastic numbers," said Adams County Economic Development Corp. director Larry Macklin. "We've been seeing steady growth with local industries for the last two or three months and this is great news."
    Macklin said the decrease in unemployment levels is due primarily to several county firms recalling laid-off workers. He also pointed to new jobs being created, primarily at FCC (Adams) and other companies in Berne and Geneva.
    "We do have a couple of companies that were doing some temporary layoffs, but I think that should be about over. The numbers we're seeing show strong overall improvement" in the labor market, Macklin said.
    Asked about the prospects for new industry coming to Adams County, Macklin said he has received inquiries from China and will be traveling there, along with Decatur Mayor John Schultz, the week of June 11-18. "There was a substantial need for us to go," Macklin said.
    April jobless rates for other counties in northeast Indiana included Jay, 6.5 percent; Wells, 6.3; Allen, 7.5; Huntington, 7.5; and Whitley, 6.5 percent.
    Fayette County featured the state's highest unemployment rate during April at 10.7 percent, followed by Vermillion, 10.2; Lawrence, 10.0; Starke, 9.8; Blackford and Sullivan, 9.7; Laporte, 9.6; Henry and Wayne, 9.5; and Miami and Scott, 9.4 percent.
    Adams County's 7.0 percent unemployment reading was the 27th lowest in the state. Labor force estimates included in the latest state report show that 1,052 members of the county's total workforce of 14,974 remained without work during April.
    Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent to 7.9 percent, falling below the national rate of 8.1 percent. April was the fifth consecutive month the state’s rate declined. Indiana’s unemployment rate has not been below 8 percent since November of 2008.
    “The Hoosier state has not seen economic growth on this level in a generation,” said Scott B. Sanders, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. Sanders also noted Indiana has added 36,500 jobs in 2012, the most in a four month period since late 1998.
    According to the report, Indiana’s private sector employment grew dramatically in April, adding 15,400 new jobs. That marked the fourth largest one-month increase in 22 years, state officials said.
    April jobless rates for neighboring states included Ohio, 7.4 percent; Michigan and Kentucky, each at 8.3; and Illinois, 8.7 percent.

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