Local Unemployment Rates Increase During Otherwise Positive Year


Starke County’s unemployment rate increased in November, climbing to 5.6 percent. That’s up from the previous two months, when the rate bottomed out at 5.0 percent.

However, Ron Gifford with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation says, on the whole, 2015 saw some strong improvements in the county’s unemployment levels, “We started out in January at a 9.0 percent unemployment rate, and in fact, in September and October, we were actually at 5.0 percent, so we had a four-percent drop during the course of the year at some point.”

While jobs were added last year, Gifford says that rate also reflects a decrease in the the number of people actually looking for work. “During the last 12 months, our labor force here in the county has diminished by 118 persons, but the number of employed has gone up by 59 and the number of unemployed has gone down by 207,” he says. “So in addition to that rate looking much better than it was at the beginning of the year, the rest of those numbers are also statistically significant to us as well, as it all looks good.”

He says all those numbers mean the county’s doing well economically, “It shows us that there are, in fact, jobs in Starke County that are available, are being filled by people. As I indicated, we have something like 207 people that have moved off unemployment, which is good and show that there are jobs here in Starke County and people are finding those jobs and employers continue to seek people that are qualified for the jobs they have open.”

During the month of November, Indiana’s unemployment rate stayed at 4.4 percent. All but three Indiana counties saw their rates increase, with the rest being unchanged. Locally, Marshall County had the lowest November unemployment rate at 3.9 percent. Pulaski County unemployment rose to 4.2 percent and LaPorte County saw its rate increase to 5.7 percent in November.