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County unemployment continues to drop

LaGrange County’s unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent, with September’s rate at 5.7 percent and October’s slightly higher at 5.9 percent.

In October 2012, the rate was 7.3 percent.

According to numbers released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, there were 973 listed as unemployed in LaGrange County. That compares to 1,130 a year ago.

The labor force numbers have also continued to increase over the past year, from 15,477 in October 2012 to 16,405 last month.

Those now working have increased by over a thousand, from 14,347 last year to 15,432 in October of this year.

LaGrange County is in the lower third of all counties in Indiana in unemployment rates, ranked 74th.

Neighboring counties have also seen improvement in their rates, but remain higher than LaGrange. Elkhart County remains at the top in the region at 7.4 percent. Both Steuben and Noble counties are finally under 7 percent, with 6.9 and 6.8 percent, respectively.

Statewide, the numbers continue to improve, as the state’s average dropped to 7.5 percent in October. In October 2012, the rate was 8.4 percent.

 It was noted that the state’s decrease in the unemployment rate over the past three months is the largest drop since September 1993. Indiana has also added 32,000 private sector jobs in the past year. The state ranks fifth in the nation in percentage of growth since July 2009, considered the low point of employment.