10/24/12 Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in September, down from 8.3 percent in August. This marks the first decline in the rate since April. Indiana also recorded its first increase in the labor force in seven months, signaling more Hoosiers may be encouraged by strong job growth throughout the year and are again looking for work. While Indiana’s rate of unemployment decreased in September, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Hoosier state 6,000 private sector jobs, the first monthly decline in nearly a year. Despite September losses, private sector jobs in Indiana have grown by more than 43,000 in 2012 and continue to outpace the national rate of growth for the year (1.8 percent versus 1.2 percent).

Looking locally we find Marshall County with an unemployment rate of 7.8 and ranked 34th of the 92 counties in Indiana. Starke County is a 11th on the list with a rate of 8.9 and LaPorte County is 14th with a rate 8.8. Saint Joseph County has a rate of 8.6 and is 24th on the list followed closely by Elkhart County with a rate of 8.4 and 26th in the state. Other area counties include Fulton County who is 44th with a rate of 7.5 and Kosciusko who is 70th on the list with a rate of 10.9 while Dubois County is 92nd on the list with a rate 4.9.

Employment sectors in Indiana that continue to exceed the national rate of growth in 2012 include manufacturing, private educational and health services, construction and leisure and hospitality.

Sectors showing gains in September include: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (900), Financial Activities (300) and Construction (200). The Professional and Business Services (-3,300), Private Educational and Health Services (-2,600), Manufacturing (-1,400) and Leisure and Hospitality (-200) sectors showed declines. Total non-farm employment decreased in September (-2,600).