Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped in May to 5 percent, which remains higher than the national rate but still lower than most of the state’s neighbors.
The number of unemployed Hoosiers dropped by more than 5,000 compared to April, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. In all, 186,000 people are now part of the Indiana labor force.
The state’s unemployment rate has been generally falling since the Great Recession but on a month-by-month basis it has ticked up and down, due in part to the number of people who are looking for work.
Indiana’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in April and 4.8 percent one year ago.
“Indiana’s labor force participation rate is at the highest point since 2009 and continues to outpace the national average,” said DWD Commissioner Steven Braun. “Indiana experienced positive gains in employment accompanied by a decrease in unemployment, which suggests that many Hoosier jobseekers, including those joining the workforce for the first time in May, found success in securing gainful employment.”
In addition, initial unemployment insurance claims for the first 23 weeks of 2016 are at their lowest point since 1987.
Indiana Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said that despite the positive job numbers, Hoosiers “don’t see the reality in their pocketbooks.”
He pointed to sluggish growth in Indiana’s gross domestic product and wages. “The fact is, Hoosiers are well aware that Indiana’s economy is lagging behind the national average while their income strength has dropped to 38th in the nation,” Anderson said.