ANDERSON — For the first time in at least a year, the unemployment rate for the city of Anderson showed a slight increase, according to Indiana Workforce Development.
The unemployment rate for the Anderson Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison County, climbed from 6.6 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent.
The state agency reported the number of people that were unemployed climbed by 219 to 4,127 in May. This took place at the same time the number of people actively seeking employment declined by 84 to 60,520 and the number of people working dropped by 303 to 56,393.
The rate climb for the Anderson MSA runs contrary to figures for Indiana, which showed the unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent in May.
Indiana Workforce Development said that was a result of approximately 2,000 residents that returned to the labor force looking for work.
Indiana added 4,800 private sector jobs in May.
“The Hoosier labor force has grown significantly for the past eight months in a row,” said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the department. “This is not the case with some of our neighboring states, who have experienced unemployment rates decline due to a decrease in their labor force.”
For the city of Anderson, the unemployment rate went from 7.2 percent in April to 7.6 percent in May, with the number of people out of work climbing from 1,851 to 1,921. The labor force decreased by 19 to 25,271 and the number of people working dropped by 125 to 23,450 for the month.
During the most recent recession, the unemployment in Anderson peaked at 11.7 percent in February 2010, with 7,244 people out of work.
Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said he expects the trend of lower unemployment rate numbers to continue.
"It depends on how you show the numbers," he said. "This is something you don't want to see and it is a concern.