Revision pushes Indiana jobless rate further below national mark

Keywords Unemployment
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Corrections made by the federal government to Indiana’s unemployment rate lowered the figure by a half-percentage point, pushing the state mark further below the national jobless rate.

The revision announced Friday put Indiana’s September rate at 3.5%, rather than 4.0%. The October jobless rate also released Friday dropped slightly to 3.3%, compared to the national mark of 4.6%.

The problem stems from “distortions” during the COVID-19 pandemic in statewide labor force estimates used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for its region that includes Indiana, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.

The biggest change from the corrections happened for Michigan, which saw the federal agency revise its unemployment rate upward by 1.7 percentage points, to 6.3% for September.

Indiana’s unemployment rate has plunged from a high of 17.5% during the spring 2020 coronavirus shutdowns and is nearly a full percentage point lower than any surrounding state.

Private employment in Indiana, however, remains about 70,000 below the state’s December 2019 peak of nearly 2.75 million.

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