Local jobless numbers increasing

Unemployment rates for Bartholomew County, among the lowest in Indiana over the past year, trended higher in January, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Bartholomew County’s January rate of 2.8 percent compared favorably to the state’s 3.6 percent. However, the local January jobless rate was a half-point higher than Bartholomew County’s 2.3 percent in December. January’s local rate also was the highest Bartholomew County recorded since having an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent in August.

The Columbus area’s January rate was tied for seventh lowest among Indiana’s 92 counties, the highest ranking in the past year. As recently as November, Bartholomew was tied for second among Indiana counties with a jobless rate of 2.5 percent.

In January, the Columbus area had 44,395 people in its labor force, of which 43,158 held jobs. The number of people without jobs was 1,237, the highest total since 1,436 recorded in August 2017.

In January of 2017, there were 43,269 people with jobs in Bartholomew County. In January of this year, that number dropped to 43,158.