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Indiana gained jobs in February, economist contends

April 4, 2007

Dismal February job numbers widely reported across the state several days ago distort what actually happened, according to Morton Marcus, director emeritus of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University.

Rather than having 7,400 fewer jobs than in January—the worst performance behind only Ohio—employment actually increased.

The rub comes in how government statisticians adjusted the numbers to account for seasonal fluctuations, Marcus said. The government formula didn’t take into account the smaller number of people who would have worked it if hadn’t been for the bitter cold and deep snow.

Had the government used the same formula to seasonally adjust the latest data as it did to adjust the February 2006 numbers, the state would have been shown to gain 9,000 jobs.

Based on unadjusted figures, Indiana gained 3,500 jobs in February from the same month last year. However, the 2,931,400 jobs were 26,100 short of the record set for the month in 2000, before the state was walloped by recession.

 

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