By Barry Lewis, Assistant Publisher The Paper of Montgomery County

The bad news keeps coming as the December unemployment figures were announced Tuesday and they continue to rise for Montgomery County and the state of Indiana.

According to the figures released Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development showed the December unemployment figures for Montgomery County stood at 6.7 percent. That was an increase from 5.8 percent in November and 3.7 percent in December of 2007.

Despite the rise Montgomery County figures were still lower than the state figure of 8.2 and the national average of 7.2 percent.

"I think no one will argue that Montgomery County has seen it's share of job losses over the past several months and the results have touched the lives of many of our citizens," S. David Long, Executive Vice President of the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, said.. "Unemployment percentage figures, low or high, mean little if you happen to be part of that percentage of which our manufacturing, construction and retail sectors were most affected."

The total number of people employed in Montgomery County fell from 18,252 in November to 17,658 or a decrease of 594. The total number of workers employed in December last year was 18,302 or 644 more than this year.

While the numbers are climbing, Montgomery County is still doing well compared to many part of the state. The County has the 19th lowest unemployment rate in the state. Elkhart County has the highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent.

In the counties touching Montgomery County, four have higher unemployment rates and three are lower. The highest in the eight-county area is Putnam at 8.7 percent, followed by Parke at 8.5 and Fountain and Clinton counties both check in at 7.4. Boone has the lowest mark at 5.8 and followed by Hendricks at 5.9 and Tippecanoe at 6.0.

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