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State unemployment rate climbs back to 10 percent

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The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday that the state's jobless rate is in double digits again after inching up one-tenth of a percentage point in April and hitting 10 percent.

The state's revised seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate had teetered between 9.7 percent and 9.9 percent the previous six months, after topping 10 percent from March through September of last year.

Yet, the number of jobs in Indiana rose by 22,700 in April, marking the largest month-to-month increase since February 1999, the state said.

“Indiana has added 41,800 jobs over the last four months, essentially recouping the jobs lost over the past year,” DWD Commissioner Teresa Voors said in a prepared statement. “Indiana has two percent of the country’s population and seven percent of the job growth.”

Despite hitting 10 percent in unemployment, Indiana still has the lowest jobless rate among its neighboring states and was the only one of the five to report a year-to-year unemployment decline. Indiana’s unemployment rate in April 2009 was 10.5 percent.

Michigan’s 14-percent unemployment rate was tops in the Midwest in April, followed by Illinois at 11.2 percent, Ohio at 10.9 percent and Kentucky at 10.6 percent.

The national unemployment rate is 9.9 percent.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said there were more people working in several employment sectors statewide in March, including leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and manufacturing. Sectors reporting job declines included private education and health services, construction and financial activities.
 
The number of unemployed Hoosiers declined, to 308,,668, in April from a revised 331,273 in March.

In the Indianapolis metro area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 9 percent in April, up from 8.3 percent in April 2009.

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

Nearly 78,000 people are unemployed in the metro area, according to the latest figure.

The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The surge is evidence of how volatile the job market remains, even as the economy grows.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 471,000 nationally last week, up by 25,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said. It was the first increase in five weeks and the biggest jump since a gain of 40,000 in February.
 

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