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Sullivan County unemployment rate rises 0.2% to 5.1% in February


Sullivan County's unemployment rate has been up and down — three ups
and one down — over the past four months.

After being at 4.6% in November, it decreased to 4.1% in December, but
then jumped 0.8% to 4.9% in January, then up again 0.2% to 5.1% in
February, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
in their monthly news release on Monday.

The unemployment rate had been steadily dropping back from the
pandemic's effect, from 11% in May, to 10.3% in June, to 7.1% in July,
to 6% in August, to 5.6% in September, to 4.5% in October.

The county's rank statewide had remained steady at 21st-worst in
December and January, but improved slightly to 23rd-worst in February.

The state’s non-seasonably adjusted labor force estimates for February
continue to show the county is lower in labor force (-366) and
employed workers (-349) compared to February 2020 numbers. The county
has seven less unemployed workers compared to the same month last
year. The county’s overall unemployment rate remains 0.1% higher than
last year’s 5% rate.

To wit:

• The county’s labor force was 7,712 in February, compared to 7,878 in
January and 8,078 a year ago.

• The number of persons employed was 7,315 in February, compared to
7,494 in January and 7,674 last year.

• The number of unemployed workers was 397 in February, compared to
384 in January and 404 a year ago.

Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 4% for February and the national
rate is 6.2%. 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 4,971 over the previous
month. This was a result of a decrease of 7,402 unemployed residents
and an increase of 2,431 employed residents.

Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and
those seeking employment stands at 3.34 million, while the state’s
63.2% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate
of 61.4%.

Private sector employment has decreased by 113,400 over the year and
decreased by 6,600 over the previous month. The monthly decrease is
primarily due to losses in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities
(-5,500) and the Financial Activities (-900) sectors. Losses were
offset by gains in the Manufacturing (2,500) and the Leisure and
Hospitality (1,500) sectors. Total private employment stands at
2,622,000, which is 118,500 below the new December 2019 peak.

The overall gap in state unemployment rate from top to bottom — Howard
County at 8.5% (worst) and Adams and LaGrange counties at 2.9% (best)
— saw this gap increase to 5.6%, up 0.9% from 4.7% in January.

Other nearby counties February rankings and rates are Vermillion
(7th-worst, 5.9%), Vigo (9th-worst, 5.7%), Owen (16th-worst, 5.3%),
Clay (21st-worst, 5.1%), Greene (26th-worst, 5%), Brown (29th-worst,
4.8%), Parke (45th-worst, 4.3%), Putnam (46th-worst, 4.3%), Monroe
(54th-worst, 4.1%), Knox (63rd-worst, 3.9%), Dubois (76th-worst,
3.6%), Gibson (86th-worst, 3.4%) and Daviess (88th-worst, 3.2%).

Indiana and bordering states for February compared to last year,
Illinois increased 3.8% (3.6% to 7.4%), Michigan increased 1.5% (3.7%
to 5.2%), Kentucky increased 1% (4.2% to 5.2%), Indiana increased 0.8%
(3.2% to 4%), while Ohio increased 0.3% (4.7% to 5%).

The March Indiana Employment Report will be released April 16, with
the Indiana County, City and MSA Employment Report released April 19.

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