Photo: Matt B. (flickr)
Indiana’s private sector lost 11,000 jobs in March, breaking a 20-month streak of job growth. Indiana’s unemployment rate remained steady, holding at 8.7 percent. But the state saw its first decline in jobs since mid-2011, led by losses in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector – which the Department of Workforce Development attributes to uncertainty in the market and unseasonable weather. Workforce Development Commissioner Scott Sanders says March’s numbers confirm there’s more work to do in strengthening the Hoosier economy. That echoes comments made earlier this week by Governor Mike Pence as he stumped for passage of his ten percent income tax cut.
“Even though we’ve seen strong job growth since the depths of the recession, job growth is not as strong we’d like,” Pence says. “We need more high-wage, high-growth jobs in Indiana.”
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says the Pence tax cut is the only effort still alive in the General Assembly that will make an immediate difference to the middle class.
“Helping the middle class is the first priority,” Pelath says. “I think there’s better ways to do that than with the tax cut. But if that’s the only game left in town, then the governor’s way is better than the legislature’s way.”
Republican legislative leaders have instead proposed a mix of tax cuts, including a portion of the governor’s income tax cut, a continued reduction in the corporate tax rate and elimination of the inheritance tax.