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Sullivan County unemployment rate maintains improvement to 4.5% in October


Sullivan County's unemployment rate continues to drop since it soared
to 15.7% in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic's initial impact on the

Since then, that unemployment rate has steadily dropped back to 11% in
May, to 10.3% in June, to 7.1% in July, to 6% in August, to 5.6% in
September, now to 4.5% in October, according to the Indiana Department
of Workforce Development in their monthly news release on Monday.

While the unemployment rate has seen improvement the past five months,
the county's rank statewide had 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, to a tie for 21st-worst in

However, that trend reversed, dropping slightly to a tie for
24th-worst in October.

The state’s non-seasonably adjusted labor force estimates for October
continue to show the county is lower in labor force and employed
workers, but has 75 additional unemployed workers compared to 2019
numbers. The county’s overall unemployment rate is now only 1% higher
than last year’s 3.5% rate.

To wit:

• The county’s labor force was 8,215 in October, compared to 8,113 in
September and 8,414 a year ago.

• The number of persons employed was 7,843 in October, compared to
7,670 in September and 8,117 last year.

• The number of unemployed workers was 372 in October, compared to 443
in September and 297 a year ago.

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 5% for October and the national
rate is at 6.9%. 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 7,271 over the previous
month. This was a result of a decrease of 41,803 unemployed residents
and an increase of 34,532 employed residents. The state's total labor
force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking
employment, stands at 3.34 million, and the state’s 63.1% labor force
participation rate remains above the national rate of 61.7%.

Private sector employment has decreased by 83,900 over the year and
increased by 23,300 over the previous month. The monthly increase is
primarily due to gains in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities
(8,600), the Professional and Business Services (7,400) and the
Leisure and Hospitality (3,600) sectors. Gains were offset by a loss
in the Construction (-900) sector. Total private employment stands at
2,645,400, which is 103,900 below the January 2019 peak.

The gap in state unemployment rate from top to bottom — Orange County
at 8.2% (worst) and Daviess County at 2.7% (best) — saw its gap narrow
to 5.5%, much improved from 14.5% in June. Zero counties are 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 9th-worst,
5.2%), Clay (tie 24th-worst, 4.5%), Brown (tie 35th-worst, 4.2%), Owen
(tie 35th-worst, 4.2%), Monroe (tie 46th-worst, 4%), Putnam (tie
51st-worst, 3.9%), Knox (tie 57th-worst, 3.8%), Parke (tie 72nd-worst,
3.5%), Gibson (tie 72nd-worst, 3.5%), Dubois (tie 83rd-worst, 3.3%)
and Daviess (92nd-worst, 2.7%).

Indiana and bordering states for October compared to last year, Ohio
increased 1.5% (4.1% to 5.6%), Michigan increased 1.6% (3.9% to 5.5%),
Indiana increased 1.8% (3.2% to 5%), Illinois increased 3.1% (3.7% to
6.8%), while Kentucky also increased 3.1% (4.3% to 7.4%). September
unemployment rates had Illinois at 10.4%, Ohio at 8.3%, Michigan at
8.6%, Kentucky 5.6% and Indiana 6.3%.

The November Indiana Employment Report will be released Dec. 18, with
the Indiana County, City and MSA Employment Report released Dec. 21.

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