unemploymentIndiana’s unemployment rate decreased by two-tenths of a percent to 4.0 percent in December, which marks its lowest point since 2001. The unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force. Indiana’s total labor force stands at over 3.3 million and the state’s 64.3 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

The unemployment rate in Marshall County was steady from October to November at 3.3 and only increase to 3.4 for December.  Marshall County was ranked 79th of the 92 counties in November and moved up to 71st in December with the 3.4 rate.

Looking at the counties that surround Marshall County you will find LaPorte County currently 5th on the list of 92 counties with a rate of 5.6 a slight increase from the November rate of 5.1.

Starke County moved up the list of counties from 13th in November rate of 4.7 to 9th with a rate of 5.3.

St. Joseph County was ranked 27th in November with a rate of 4.1, and dropped to 39th in December with a rate of 4.2.

Fulton County had a November unemployment rate of 4.1 and was at 32nd on the list of 92 counties.  The December ranking was 30th with a rate of 4.3.

Elkhart County had an unemployment rate of 3.2 in October, 3.3 in November and 3.1 in December ranking them 86th on the list of counties.

Kosciusko County ended up 70th on the list of counties with a rate of 3.4 in November and 77th in December with a rate of 3.3.

Indiana’s Labor Force increased 28,419 with a 45,330 increase in employment and a 16,911 decrease in unemployment during 2016. This combination of employment growth and decreasing unemployment led to Indiana’s unemployment rate falling from 4.6 percent to 4.0 percent over the course of the year.

“Indiana has experienced workforce growth in nearly all measurable areas during 2016; however, we still have work to do to reach our workforce potential as a state,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD). “Moving forward, it is essential for Indiana to develop and expand programs that equip Hoosiers with the skills necessary to fill the thousands of open positions available today and the one million jobs projected to be available over the next decade.”

Commissioner Braun also noted private sector employment has grown by almost 23,000 over the year. He added that initial unemployment insurance claims remain at the lowest point in three decades.