01/21/13 Indiana’s private sector employment grew by 8,300 jobs in December, further bolstering a remarkable year of job gains.  The Hoosier State added nearly 54,000 jobs in 2012, the largest growth in a calendar year in over a decade.

Private sector employment in Indiana is not at almost 97 percent of pre-recession levels.  Claims for unemployment insurance continue to remain below 2005 levels.

Although the state wants folks to think things are getting better in Marshall County, the unemployment rate increased a half a point from 8.5 to 9.0.  This ranks our county at 37 of the 92 counties.  Looking at the counties surrounding us you’ll find Starke County at number 6 with a rate of 10.8. Saint Joseph County is 27th with a rate of 9.4 and Elkhart is 29th with a rate of 9.3.  Other counties include Fulton ranked 36th with a rate of 8.9 and Kosciusko ranked 71st with a rate of 7.4.  Topping the list in December was Vermillion County with a rate of 12.2 and at the bottom of the 92 counties you’ll find DuBois with a rate of 5.9.

“As evidenced by our December employment number, Indiana experienced an exceptional year of job growth in 2012,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development.  “The Hoosier State has increased private sector employment by nearly 157,000 since 2009, the low point of employment in our state, and has been a national leader in job growth during that period.”

Sanders also noted that while private sector employment increased significantly in December, Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent mainly due to more than 7,000 unemployed Hoosiers returning to the labor force to look for work.