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Friday, November 27, 2020
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Sullivan County unemployment rate continues improvement to 5.6% in September

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Sullivan County’s unemployment rate soared to 15.7% in April as a
result of the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the economy. But since
then it's steadily dropped back to 11% in May, to 10.3% in June, to
7.1% in July, to 6% in August, now to 5.6% in September according to
the Indiana Department of Workforce Development in their recent
monthly news release.

While the unemployment rate has seen improvement the past five months,
the county's rank statewide has slipped from a tie for 56th-worst in
May, to a tie for 42nd-worst in June, to a tie for 37th-worst in July,
to a tie for 27th-worst in August, and is now tied for 21st-worst in
September.

The state’s non-seasonably adjusted labor force estimates for
September continue to show the county is lower in labor force and
employed workers, but has 158 additional unemployed workers compared
to 2019 numbers. The county’s overall unemployment rate is 2.1% higher
than last year’s 3.5% rate.

To wit:

• The county’s labor force was 8,034 in September, compared to 8,046
in August and 8,340 a year ago.

• The number of persons employed was 7,585 in September, compared to
7,557 in August and 8,049 last year.

• The number of unemployed workers was 449 in September, compared to
489 in August and 291 a year ago.

Indiana’s unemployment rate lowered to 6.2% for September while the
national rate is 7.9%. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics indicator that reflects the number of unemployed
people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage
of the labor force.

Indiana’s labor force had a net decrease of 19,691 over the previous
month. This was a result of a decrease of 6,289 unemployed residents
and a decrease of 13,402 employed residents. The state's total labor
force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking
employment, stands at 3.33 million, and the state’s 63% labor force
participation rate remains above the national rate of 61.4%.

Private sector employment has decreased by 109,700 over the year and
by 4,500 over the previous month. The monthly decrease is primarily
due to losses in the Private Education and Health Services (-4,000)
and the Construction (-1,300) sectors. Losses were offset by gains in
the Professional and Business Services (2,000) and the Leisure and
Hospitality (800) sectors. Total private employment stands at
2,623,100, which is 126,200 below the January 2019 peak.

The gap in unemployment rate from top to bottom — Lake County at 8.7%
(worst) and Daviess County at 3.1% (best) — saw its gap narrow to
5.6%, much improved from 14.5% in June. Zero counties remain above 10%
in unemployment rate, a vast improvement over April's peak which saw a
total of 21 counties above 20%.

Other nearby counties rankings and rates are Vigo (tie 8th-worst,
6.4%), Clay (tie 24th-worst, 5.4%), Brown (tie 34th-worst, 5.1%),
Putnam (tie 38th-worst, 5%), Owen (tie 45th-worst, 4.9%), Monroe (tie
60th-worst, 4.4%), Knox (tie 65th-worst, 4.3%), Parke (tie 65th-worst,
4.3%), Gibson (tie 81st-worst, 4%), Dubois (86th-worst, 3.8%) and
Daviess (92nd-worst, 3.1%).

Indiana and bordering states for September compared to last year,
Illinois increased 6.5% (3.7% to 10.2%), Michigan increased 4.6% (3.9%
to 8.4%), Ohio increased 4.3% (4.1% to 8.4%), Indiana increased 3%
(3.2% to 6.2%), while Kentucky increased 1.3% (4.3% to 5.6%). August
unemployment rates had Illinois at 11%, Ohio at 8.9%, Michigan at
8.7%, Kentucky 7.5% and Indiana 6.4%.

The October Indiana Employment Report will be released Nov. 20, with
the Indiana County, City and MSA Employment Report released Nov. 23.


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