Jobless rate in tumble

    Unemployment in Adams County hit a four-year low during September.    According to figures released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Adams County's jobless rate plummeted to 6.6 percent during September. That represents the lowest unemployment figure experienced in the county since June of 2008, when unemployment stood at 5.5 percent.
    September's unemployment rate was down .7 percent from the county's 7.3 percent reading in August.
    Adams County's jobless rate has now remained at or below 8 percent for seven consecutive months after starting the year at 8.5 percent. The previous low for the year came in April, when the county's jobless rate stood at 7.0 percent. Three years ago, in September of 2009, Adams County experienced an unemployment rate of 13.4 percent. One year ago that rate was at 7.8 percent.
    The county's unemployment rate peaked in July of 2009 at 15.2 percent
    A total of 985 members of the county's workforce of 14,955 remained without work last month, Friday's report said.
    Adams County Economic Development Corporation director Larry Macklin was cautiously optimistic about the number's contained in the latest state report.
    "I think it's great, and we need to applaud those who provide jobs here in Adams County," he said.
    Macklin said his office recently completed a semi-annual labor survey which showed that "well over 200 jobs have come back" to the county over the past three months.
    "While the fact is that the labor market is still very soft in the Midwest right now, we have some strong businesses here in Adams County. Many of those employers are wanting to expand, but are still waiting for the financial markets to loosen up a little. We will continue to work hard with our local businesses and industry and when they're ready to expand, we'll be there to help," said Macklin.
    According to Friday's report, Adams County's reduction in unemployment numbers was the largest of any county in east-central and northeast Indiana for the month. Jay County's rate fell .6 per a percent to 6.1; Wells remained unchanged at 6.8; Allen was down .1 percent to 7.6; DeKalb was down .5 percent to 7.9; and Noble was down .5 percent to 8.0 percent. Jobless figures in Huntington and Whitley increased during September to 8.4 and 7.6 percent, respectively.
    Sullivan County once again featured the state's highest unemployment rate during September at 10.9 percent, followed by Vermillion at 10.3, Fayette at 10.0, Lawrence at 9.8; Clay, Miami and Wayne at 9.3; Blackford at 9.1; and Henry and Madison at 9.0 percent.
    Adams County's 6.6 percent jobless rate left it as the state's 25th lowest.
    Indiana's 8.2 percent unemployment rate for September was down one-tenth of a percent from the previous month and was a full percent lower than the 9.2 percent reading one year earlier.
    Jobless rates for neighboring states during September included Ohio, 7.0 percent; Michigan, 9.3; Kentucky, 8.4; and Illinois, 8.8 percent.

Adams County jobless rates, last 13 months
6.6% in September 2012
7.3%  in August 2012
7.6% in July 2012
7.9% in June 2012
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