Indiana adds jobs, sees April unemployment rate slip

May 16, 2014

Indiana added a smattering of jobs in April and saw its unemployment rate shrink as part of a broader national trend.

Non-farm employment increased 0.1 percent, or by 4,200 jobs, to 2,970,700 from March. The unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent.

The seasonally adjusted figures, while continuing a steady climb since July 2009, are still short of the record 3,021,900 jobs set in May 2000.

The state’s work force commissioner, Scott B. Sanders, emphasized in a statement that April was the ninth month in a row of falling jobless rates and the fourth in a row with unemployment below national levels.

The last time Indiana's unemployment mark was this low was in July 2008, when the state also had a 5.7 percent jobless rate.

“April’s job numbers maintained the positive economic trend for 2014 in the Hoosier state,” Sanders said. “Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to drop because more Hoosiers are going back to work as our labor force continues to grow, which is not the case with some of our neighboring states or the national trend as a whole.”

Indiana has added more manufacturing jobs in the past year, 13,400, than any other state, the state said. And the contraction in the unemployment rate in the past year of 2.1 percentage points is the third-largest decrease.

Indiana's increase in job numbers, while small, manifested across 11 of 14 broad sectors tracked by the government. Only services, mining, and business and professional services slipped.

The improvements are part of a national trend.

The Labor Department said unemployment rates fell in 43 states in April, rose in two states and were unchanged in five.

Hiring is picking up as well. Employers added jobs in 39 states, while 10 states posted job losses. Nebraska reported no change.

Twenty-five states now have unemployment rates of 5.9 percent or lower. The Federal Reserve considers ‘‘full employment’’ to be between 5.2 percent and 5.6 percent. Rates below that level could push up inflation.

Hiring wasn't the whole reason rates fell in many states: Fewer Americans also looked for work. The government doesn't count those out of work as unemployed unless they are actively hunting for jobs.



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