Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 29, 2014

Decatur jobless rate falls to 5.6 percent

By Boris Ladwig Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Decatur County employers provided jobs for 12,427 people in December, the highest total in more than a decade.

The county’s unemployment rate in December was 5.6 percent, the lowest since May 2008, and down a whopping 3.2 percentage points from December 2012. Only three of Indiana’s 92 counties recorded a greater decline in 2013, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The number of jobs in Decatur County increased by more than 1,200 last year, for a jobs growth rate of nearly 11 percent. Neighboring counties recorded a growth rate of no more than 6.9 percent.

Economic development officials have said that a recovery in the housing and automotive sectors has buoyed the local economy. For example, Delta Faucet and Hitachi Powdered Metals last year invested about $20 million in local operations and added 230 employees. Honda and Valeo, too, made investments and added workers.

Decatur County’s labor force, or all residents age 16 and older who are either working or looking for work, increased by 866. Economists generally say that an increasing labor force points to people moving to an area where they have a high confidence in finding a job.

The local number of job seekers in December fell to 735, the lowest in more than five years and down more than 300 from December 2012.

Decatur County’s neighbors also recorded significant unemployment rate declines — though all of them recorded slower job growth. Unemployment rates for December, with rates from a year earlier in parentheses.

Decatur: 5.6 percent (8.8)

Bartholomew: 4.5 (6.7).

Franklin: 6.2 (7.3).

Jennings: 6.9 (10.3).

Ripley: 6.9 (9).

Rush: 5.5 (8.3).

Shelby: 5.9 (8).

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 6.9 percent, down from 8.3 percent a year earlier. The national rate, also seasonally adjusted, fell to 6.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent a year earlier.

Contact: Boris Ladwig 812-663-3111 x7401; boris.ladwig@greensburgdailynews.com