Gary Hufferd, Connersville News-Examiner Editor

Fayette County unemployment rose in December as Indiana's joblessness soared, according to the most recent statistics released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The jobless rate in Fayette County climbed 1.7 percent to 12.6 in the preliminary report for December. Still, Fayette County only ranked fourth of Indiana's 92 counties behind Elkhart (15.3 percent), LaGrange (15.1 percent) and Noble (13.9 percent). Fayette County ranked third in November.

Daviess and Dubois counties posted the lowest unemployment rate at 4.8 percent.

Wayne County unemployment ranked 20th in December, Union County 30th and Franklin County 49th.

Indiana's preliminary seasonally-adjusted December unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, up from 6.9 percent in November, according to Workforce Development. The U.S. Department of Labor said Indiana and South Carolina registered the highest jumps in unemployment rates.

Workforce Development reported 1,320 unemployed in Fayette County in December out of a labor force of 10,509. Fayette County's unemployment rate in December 2007 was 8.7 percent.

Unemployment rates in all four Whitewater Valley counties were higher in December.

  • Franklin County had an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in December, an increase of 1.8 percent from the revised figures for November. The number of unemployed was 986 out of a labor force of 11,987. Franklin County's December 2007 unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

  • Union County had an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent in December, an increase of 2.1 percent from the revised figures for November. The number of unemployed was 324 out of a labor force of 3,538. Union County's December 2007 unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.

  • Wayne County had an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent in December, an increase of 1.6 percent from the revised figures for November. The number of unemployed was 3,405 out of a labor force of 34,757. Wayne County's December 2007 unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.

    Workforce Development also reported unemployment statistics for 34 Indiana cities in the state with populations of more than 25,000, including Richmond.

    The December unemployment rate in Richmond was 10.5 percent, 1.5 percent higher than the figure for November. Richmond's December 2007 jobless rate was 6.0 percent.
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