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Unemployment rate for LaGrange County up slightly to 9.6 percent


Indianamay have added 13,000 jobs in January, but LaGrange County lost some jobs overall as its unemployment rate snuck up to 9.6 percent. The December 2011 revised rate was 9.3 percent.

LaGrangeCountysaw an additional 51 people listed under unemployed in the numbers released this week by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The employed number dropped by 64.

A year ago, the January 2011 unemployment rate was 10.9 percent.

Statewide, the rate dropped to 8.7 percent from 8.9 percent in December.

The report from the state stated that a total of 43,100 jobs were added in 2011. In LaGrange County, 2011 saw the unemployment number drop by 248 people, from 1,667 unemployed in January 2011 to 1,419 unemployed in December.

The county currently ranks 45th among Indiana counties in unemployment. Elkhart County tops the area, with 11.2 percent for January. Noble County reported 10.3 percent, while Steuben County was listed at 10.2 percent.

According to Workforce Development, Indiana’s labor force for 2011 has recovered to levels seen during peak employment in 2007, while surrounding states have seen a decline in the labor force.

It was also reported that, due to the improvement in the unemployment rate, Indiana is no longer eligible for extended benefits, the last 20 weeks of federally funded extended benefits. The federal government only pays for the extended benefits when the state’s three-month average unemployment rate is 110 percent higher than it was three years ago.

Hoosiers will be unable to file for extended benefits beginning Sunday, April 15. The report noted that approximately 10,000 Hoosiers are currently receiving extended benefits.