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County unemployment down 2 percent from 2011


LaGrangeCountycontinues to see a drop in its overall unemployment numbers, based on the report issued at the end of last week by Indiana Workforce Development.

The state numbers show LaGrange County with a 7.4 percent unemployment rate, down from the 7.7 revised number for July. The August 2012 rate is 2.1 percent lower than the August 2011 rate of 9.5 percent.

According to state numbers, the county’s workforce – the number of residents who are able to work and are seeking jobs – was down by 96 people since this time last year. Meanwhile, the number of people listed as employed is up by 245 over 12 months. Overall, the number of unemployed was 341 lower than in August 2011, the amount of those added to the employment list plus those who left the labor force pool.

The new numbers put LaGrange County 61st in the state ranking on unemployment.

ElkhartCounty, which once consistently led the state, has dropped to the 27th highest in Indiana, with 8.8 percent unemployment. Noble County is ranked 33rd with 8.5 percent and Steuben County is 40th with 8.2 percent.

Statewide, unemployment dropped by 3/10 of a percent to 8.0 in August. In August 2011, the statewide average was 9.3 percent.

According to the state report, private sector employment in Indiana is at 96.5 percent of pre-recession June 2007 levels. Indiana is ranked third in the nation for job growth since July 2009, which was the low point of employment, at a 6.5 percent rate of growth. Only North Carolina at 19 percent, and Texas at 7.3 percent rate of growth, were higher.

So far in 2012, Indiana is 7th nationally in overall number of jobs added, with 47,200 reported.

Indianahas been particularly strong in manufacturing growth, ranked second with 59,500 jobs added since July 2009 in that sector. The state is also second for the number of manufacturing jobs added in the past year, with 23,100 jobs added. Illinois surpassed Indiana with 24,600 manufacturing jobs added in the last year.

Job growth in construction has also been strong in Indiana, with 10,400 jobs added in that sector in the past year. Since July 2009, Indiana has seen a total growth of 12 percent in construction jobs.

Indiana is third in professional and business services growth, with 17.3 percent growth since July 2009.