Indiana unemployment rate improves to 11.2% in June

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.2% in June as Hoosiers slowly returned to work after being sidelined by the COVID-19 crisis.

The state’s jobless rate hit a whopping 17.5% in April and then fell to 12.3% in May, according to numbers released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Indiana’s unemployment rate was only 3.2% in March, but that was calculated early in the month, and didn’t reflect the surge in jobless claims over the late part of the month.

The state unemployment rate for June was just a tick higher than the national unemployment rate of 11.1%. Prior to the health crisis, it typically was below the national rate.

Friday’s report also revealed increases in the state’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—and its labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work.

Indiana’s labor force increased by a net 53,484 workers from May to June, rising from 3.33 million to 3.39 million. This was a result of a decrease of 28,747 unemployed residents and an increase of 82,231 employed residents.

Indiana’s labor-force participation rate increased from 63.2% in May to 64.3% in June. It remained ahead of the national rate of 61.5%.

Private sector employment in Indiana in June increased by 128,900 over the previous month but was down by 182,200 over the year. Total private employment was 2.55 million, which was 196,900 below the January 2019 peak.

The monthly increase was due in large part to job gains in the Leisure and Hospitality sector (46,900), Manufacturing (19,000) and Private Educational and Health Services (16,700).

Friday’s report broke out unemployment rates for six nearby states, with Minnesota (8.6%), Wisconsin (8.5%), Ohio (10.9%) and Kentucky (4.3%) reporting lower rates than Indiana’s. Illinois (14.6%) and Michigan (14.8%) had higher rates.

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