By J SWYGART
Indiana's unemployment figures remained static at 8.0 percent during November, although jobless rates in virtually all northeast and east-central Indiana counties jumped significantly from the previous month's levels.
Adams County saw a .8 percent increase during the month, with unemployment rising from 6.6 percent in October to 7.4 percent in November, according to figures released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
Adams County's jobless rate had dipped below 7 percent for two consecutive months prior to November's report, and has now remained at or below 8 percent for eight straight months after starting the year at 8.5 percent. Three years ago, in November of 2009, the county experienced an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent. One year ago that rate was at 8.3 percent.
The county's jobless rate peaked in July of 2009 at 15.2 percent.
According to Friday's report, 1,085 members of the county's total workforce of 14,723 remained without jobs during November.
November jobless figures for other counties in northeast and east-central Indiana included Jay, 7.2 percent; Blackford, 9.7; Huntington, 7.6; Allen, 7.4; Whitley, 7.4; Noble, 8.8 and DeKalb, 8.4 percent. Each showed an increase over the previous month.
Similar hikes were reflected in the counties with Indiana's highest jobless levels. Sullivan County once again featured the state's highest unemployment rate during November at 11.1 percent, followed Vermillion at 11.0; Fayette at 10.9; Lawrence at 10.1; Miami and Starke at 9.9; Henry and Laporte at 9.7; Wayne at 9.6; and Blackford and Madison at 9.5 percent.
Scott B. Sanders, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, said unemployment in the Hoosier State remains lower than all surrounding states during November, with the exception of Ohio, and slightly above the national rate.
Jobless rates for neighboring states during November included Ohio, 6.8 percent; Michigan, 8.9; Kentucky, 8.2; and Illinois, 8.7 percent.
“While November’s news is not characteristic of what Indiana has experienced lately, we continue to significantly outpace the national average of job growth over the past year,” said Sanders. “Even taking into account last month’s losses, the Hoosier State has still added more than 52,000 jobs since November of 2011 and nearly 144,000 since July 2009, the low point of employment during the most recent recession.”
Sanders also noted initial claims for unemployment insurance in 2012 have been lower than any other period since 2005.