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Indiana unemployment rate shrinks to 7.9 percent

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Indiana added 15,400 private-sector jobs last month, helping the state’s unemployment drop fall to its lowest rate since late 2008.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning that unemployment fell to 7.9 percent in April, down from 8.2 percent the previous month.

The 15,400 jobs added in April marked the fourth-largest one-month increase since 1990, the DWD said.

Indiana led the nation in March-to-April job growth in terms of sheer numbers and ranked third in percentage increase. The state’s 0.6-percent job-growth percentage was six times the national average of 0.1 percent last month. The 15,400 jobs accounted for roughly 12 percent of the nation’s increase.

Indiana’s unemployment rate has not been below 8 percent since November 2008. The U.S. jobless rate in April was 8.1 percent.

“The Hoosier state has not seen economic growth on this level in a generation,” DWD Commissioner Scott B. Sanders said in a prepared statement.

Sanders said Indiana has added 36,500 jobs this year, the most in a four-month period since late 1998.

The state’s unemployment rate is falling as a state leading economic index is rising, pointing to an improving economy.

The Leading Index for Indiana, as measured by Indiana University, is climbing back toward pre-recession levels and is at its highest mark since August 2008.

Still, Timothy Slaper, director of economic analysis at IU’s Business Research Center, said economic signs are far from perfect.

“Overall, the picture looks rosier for Indiana’s economy, but would not warrant saying that the Hoosier economy is poised for breathtaking growth in the coming months,” he said. “The forecast for the remainder of the year continues what has become the mantra of positive, but sluggish, economic growth. The sustained slow recovery will be devoid of strong surges in personal income or payroll employment."

Statewide non-farm employment in April totaled 2.9 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 246,258 Hoosiers sought unemployment benefits in April, down from 274,580 in March.

Sectors showing employment gains in April included manufacturing (6,200 jobs), professional and business services (3,900), leisure and hospitality (1,900) and construction (1,100).

In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.3 percent in April, down from 8 percent in April 2011.

Comparisons of metro areas are more accurately made using the same months in prior yeas because the government does not adjust the figures for factory furloughs and other seasonal fluctuations.
 

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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