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Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

IN leads Midwest with area counties' improving unemployment rates

IN leads Midwest with area counties' improving unemployment rates

For the month of April, Davidson County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate at 2.7 percent, a decline from 3.4 percent of the prior month.

Niobrara County posted the lowest unemployment rate in May at 2.7 percent. The unemployment rate in Central Oregon's largest county remained little changed from the month before, dropping from 3.6 to 3.5%. That left Natrona County with the highest unemployment rate in the state last month, just slightly above Fremont County ( 5.3 percent in May 2017) and Campbell County (5.1 percent).

Seneca County's jobless rate increased in May from April, but is unchanged from previous year. It was followed by Goshen and Albany counties at 2.8 percent and Platte County at 3.4 percent. However, construction is up since May 2016 with 2,900 more jobs, an increase of 3.8 percent.

Of other notable counties, Marion County has the 33rd highest jobless rate at 2.9 percent. This was virtually unchanged from April. Those two counties stand at 3.3%. That is the lowest rate the state has had since December 2000, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

"The state's strong economy and the growing workforce needs of businesses are the main drivers of this".

The information sector rose by 200 jobs from April to May. The unemployment rate decline for the county also marked a shrinkage of the labor force in the county. The number of unemployed increased to 6,200 from the 5,800 unemployed in May 2016.

Benton County's rate of 2.8 percent is extremely low, but it's far from "crazy HP 1990s standards", O'Connor said.

Faribault and Waseca recorded the highest jobless rates of those cities, both recording a 3.8 percent jobless rate.

In Michigan City the rate was stable at 4.1 percent (6.4 percent in May 2016).

The number of employed grew to 21,200 up from 20,924 the month before. A worker is considered to be unemployed if they are actively looking for work but can't find a job.

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