Unemployment continues its decline in the region

Posted April 26, 2017

Unemployment in both Meigs and Gallia counties is on the decline again, according to the latest statistics for March.

Spokane County's unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent in March, down from 6.8 percent in February, the Washington Employment Security Department said Tuesday.

In 2016, 71 counties were above the comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment of 5 percent, while 46 were below the state and three (Carroll, Meade and Crittenden counties) were the same rate.

Unemployment fell to 4.0 percent in the Capital Region in March, tied with Long Island and Dutchess County for second lowest in the state. Indiana's unemployment rate for that period is below the nation's, and continues to improve upon last year's state unemployment rate.

In Allen County, unemployment decreased 0.7 percentage points, from 5.8 percent in February to 5.1 percent in March. In March of a year ago, the county had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent. Only Ithaca, at 3.8 percent, was lower.

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Unemployment numbers in surrounding counties decreased in March.

Growth in March was more than double February's increase at 3,300 jobs, and significantly greater than the 2016 average of 2,500 jobs. "While this is a positive economic indicator, there are thousands of good-paying jobs now available in IN that require in-demand skills". A total of 287 people was looking for work in March, down 21.4 percent from February (down 27.9 percent since March 2016). The private service-providing industries were up 8,500 jobs, or 1.6 percent.

In March there were 46,100 unemployed in the region, down from 52,600 in February and down from 48,300 in March of a year ago. Of the 18,954 people in the county's workforce, 18,152 were employed and 802 unemployed.

In Hammond the rate fell more than a full point, to 5.7 percent from 6.8 percent in February (7.9 percent in March 2016).

From March 2016 to March 2017, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 36,500.