Figures released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development showed that unemployment crept up slightly in Adams County during May. The state report set the local jobless rate at 7.8 percent for last month, up slightly from the county's 7.6 unemployment rate in April but still below the 8.2 percent figure for March.
April's unemployment rate was the lowest seen in the county in almost three years.
The report showed Adams County with the 30th lowest jobless rate among the state's 92 counties last month.
May unemployment rates for other counties in northeast Indiana, according to the report, included: Jay, 7.4 percent, Blackford, 10.0; Wells, 7.7; Huntington, 8.5; Allen, 8.2; Grant, 9.7; and Whitley, 7.5 percent.
Top top counties in Indiana in terms of May unemployment were: Fayette, 12.0 percent, Scott, 11.5; Henry, 10.7; Jennings, 10.5; Wayne, 10.4; Lawrence, 10.3; Elkhart and Starke, 10.1; and Blackford, Crawford and Noble, all at 10.0 percent.
The lowest jobless rate for May was recorded in Daviess County at 5.4 percent.
The state's report showed that 1,148 members of Adams County's total workforce of 14,765 remained without work during May.
Indiana’s preliminary seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent in May, the same as the previous month. The U.S. rate rose to 9.1 percent. May unemployment rates for neighboring states included: Illinois, 10.5 percent; Kentucky, 10.4; Michigan, 12.8 and Ohio, 10.2 percent.
Private sector employment increased by 1,700 in May, the report noted.
“The steady improvement in the unemployment rate means the state is no longer eligible for a portion of the federally funded extended benefits,” said Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. “As a result, Hoosiers will be eligible for up to 93 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits instead of 99 weeks. This is still well above the maximum amount of benefits offered in any previous recession, the highest being 55 weeks in 1983.”
Due to the state’s three month average unemployment rate falling below 8.5 percent, weeks 73-79 of unemployment benefits, also known as tier four, are no longer available. Only states with a three-month average unemployment rate above 8.5 percent are eligible.
Hoosiers currently receiving these benefits will be allowed to finish, but new claims will not be accepted beginning Sunday, July 10, 2011. Individuals who exhaust tier three after this date may apply for an additional 20 weeks of extended benefits.