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.
Overall, 2.1 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment checks during the week that ended Nov. 6, down by 129,000 from the week before.
Applications for unemployment aid have been falling mostly steadily since topping 900,000 in early January and are gradually nearing prepandemic levels of around 220,000 a week.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% last month, from 4.8% in September.
A new report illustrates how the pandemic imposed a heavy toll on working women. It found one in three women over the past year had thought about leaving their jobs or “downshifting” their careers.
Overall, 2.1 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks the week of Oct. 23—down from 7.1 million a year earlier when the economy was still reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.
In all, 2.2 million people were collecting unemployment checks the week of Oct. 16, down from 7.7 million a year earlier.
Economists point to a range of factors that are likely keeping millions of former recipients of federal jobless aid from returning to the workforce. Many Americans in public-facing jobs still fear contracting COVID-19, for example. Some families lack child care.
An estimated 134,842 Hoosiers are currently unemployed and seeking jobs, the state reported Friday. That’s down from 137,857 in July.
Unemployment claims are increasingly returning to normal, but many other aspects of the job market haven’t yet done so. Hiring has slowed in the past two months, even as companies and other employers have posted a near-record number of open jobs.
Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily since last spring as many businesses, struggling to fill jobs, have held onto their workers.
After hitting a pandemic low of 312,000 in early September, claims had risen three straight weeks, suggesting that the highly contagious delta variant was at least temporarily disrupting a recovery in jobs.
The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week swings, registered its sixth straight drop—to a pandemic low of 336,000.
State Department of Workforce Development officials explain what the end of federal pandemic unemployment benefits means for Hoosiers.
Even though hiring was relatively tepid in August, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, from 5.4% in July.
In a desperation for hired hands, companies have loosened hiring restrictions on everything from age to level of experience. The changing standards may have helped boost hiring this summer, even as many companies complained they couldn’t find all the workers they need.
Jobless claims dropped by 14,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The weekly count has mostly fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January.
The four-week average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, fell to its lowest level since mid-March 2020, when the coronavirus was beginning to slam the United States.
An estimated 137,857 Hoosiers were unemployed and seeking jobs in July, the state reported Friday. That’s was down from 138,192 in June.