Private hiring booms in November

Tribune staff reports

Jackson County’s unemployment rate climbed to its highest level in nearly six months in November.

The estimated 4.8 percent rate for the month, however, was still the fifth-lowest in the state, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s monthly report released this week.

The last time the county’s rate was higher was in June when it was 5.0 percent.

The increase stems from the addition of 125 people to the county’s workforce, taking it to 22,367. Just 43 more people reported they had found work during the month bringing the total employed in the county

to 21,301.

The number of people looking for work also grew from 983 in October to 1,066

in November.

The state counted another 15,800 private-sector jobs in November, according to a labor stats report released a week ago, with hiring booms in professional and business services, manufacturing, and in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

Even with the increase,

Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent, unchanged from November 2013. The state’s Department of Workforce Development attributed the stasis to the addition of 12,300 people into the state’s labor force.

The professional and business services sector led the charge by adding 6,400 jobs last month. The sector

includes a broad range of occupations, including workers in legal, accounting, architectural, scientific and technical positions. They also include workers in human relations, security and waste collection.

The move represented a big turnaround for the sector, which lost 2,200 jobs in November.

The manufacturing sector added 2,300 jobs, and another 3,400 new positions were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. Other gainers included financial activities (1,900), private education and health services (1,800), and construction (1,500).

A significant decline was felt in the leisure and hospitality sector, which shed 1,500 jobs.

In the past year, Indiana’s private sector has added 50,600 jobs — 49,300 of which have come in 2014.

Jackson County’s 4.8 percent unemployment rate in November was 0.9 percent higher a year ago.

Dubois County had the lowest rate at 4.1 percent, followed by Bartholomew and Hamilton, both with 4.4 percent

rates, and Daviess County with a 4.6 percent rate. Both Boone and Warrick had

4.7 percent rates, and Hendricks, Kosciusko and Wells had 4.8 percent rates. Fayette and Lake counties had the highest rates at 7.9 percent.

The national unemployment rate for November stood at 5.8 percent, a dip of 1.2 percentage points since November of last year.

That matched Indiana’s

1.2-percentage-point improvement over the same period—from 6.9 percent to 5.7 percent.

Ohio led the Midwest with the lowest unemployment rate in October, at 5.0 percent—a dip of 0.3 percent from October—followed by Indiana, Kentucky (6.0 percent), Illinois (6.4 percent) and Michigan (6.7 percent).

Unemployment rates fell in 41 U.S. states in November and were unchanged in six more, reflecting healthy job gains across the country.

The U.S. Labor Department said unemployment rates rose in only three states: Connecticut, Louisiana and Washington state.

Solid economic growth since the spring has encouraged more employers to step up hiring. The U.S. has added nearly 2.7 million jobs this year, the most since 1999. That has

lowered unemployment rates in most of the country.

North Dakota’s 2.7 percent unemployment rate was lowest in the nation. Mississippi’s 7.3 percent rate was the highest.

The biggest job gains occurred in California, which added 90,100 jobs in November, followed by Florida, which gained 41,900. Texas added the third-most jobs, with 34,800.

By the numbers

Preliminary unemployment percentages by county, plus state and national figures:

County;Nov; Oct.;Sept.;August;July;June;May;April;March;Feb.;Jan.

Bartholomew;4.4;4.0;3.8;4.0;4.2;4.6;4.3;3.9;4.7;5.2;5.0

Brown;5.3;4.6;4.5;5.2;4.9;5.3;5.4;5.4;7.2;8.5;8.0

Jackson;4.8;4.4;4.1;4.5;4.6;5.0;4.8;4.5;5.0;5.5;5.3

Jennings;6.1;5.6;5.4;5.8;6.1;6.4;6.2;6.4;7.3;8.2;8.0

Lawrence;6.96.7;6.2;7.2;7.1;7.6;7.5;7.2;8.3;10.0;9.1

Monroe;5.3;5.1;4.7;5.2;5.8;6.3;5.3;4.5;5.3;6.0;5.4

Scott;6.0;5.4;5.2;5.6;5.8;6.3;6.0;5.6;6.2;6.8;6.7

Washington;5.5;5.2;5.3;5.5;6.1;6.5;6.2;6.9;7.6;8.7;8.1

State;5.8;5.3;5.1;5.5;5.8;6.1;5.8;5.5;6.3;6.9;6.6

Nation;5.5;5.5;5.7;6.3;6.5;6.3;6.1;5.9;6.8;7.0;7.0