INDIANAPOLIS — Unemployment in the four-county area of northeast Indiana shot up in July, quite markedly in a couple counties.

The area went from having some of the lowest unemployment rates to a bit more middle of the pack, with the exception of Steuben County, which was tied for the seventh lowest unemployment rate in the state, said the data released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

This comes as Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% for July, which remains lower than the national rate of 3.7%. The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was at 3.4% was April 2018. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

In northeast Indiana, Steuben County led the way with an unemployment rate of 2.8%, which was an increase from 2.6% in June. The July rate was lower than July 2018, which was 2.9%.

DeKalb County inched up to 3.1% in July from 2.8% in June. This year’s July rate was less than the July 2018 rate of 3.2%.

LaGrange County, which typically has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the area, increased to 3.2% in July from 2.7% in June. In July 2018, LaGrange County’s unemployment rate was 2.8%.

Noble County had the highest unemployment rate in the area at 3.8% in July. That compares to 3.0% in June and 3.1% in July 2018.

Elsewhere in northeast Indiana, Whitley County increased to 3.1% in July, up from 2.9% in June and in July 2018.

Allen County increased to 3.5% in July, up from 3.1% in June and 3.3% in July 2018.

Indiana’s July labor force had a net decrease of 6,608 over the previous month. This was a result of a decrease of 1,274 unemployed residents and a decrease of 5,334 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.38 million, and the state’s 64.6% labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.0%.

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