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Indiana Adds Jobs But Unemployment Rate Rises

Indiana's unemployment rate rose above the national average to 8.3 percent, but the state also experienced significant job growth.

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Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

Indiana's unemployment rate rose because more people are entering the workforce, economists say.

For the first time in six months, Indiana’s unemployment rate has surged ahead of the national rate, rising to 8.3 percent in August.

Indiana added 7,200 private sector jobs last month for the tenth consecutive month of growth. The state’s job growth rate also tripled the national rate.

But the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 66,000 Hoosiers have left the labor force in the last three months, contributing to the state’s unemployment rate increasing a tenth of one percent.

Indiana Business Research Center economic analysis director Timothy Slaper says the conflicting numbers are a result of people coming in and out of the job market, looking for work.

“We’re in a relatively stable unemployment condition or situation,” he says. “The more important numbers are actually the jobs that we see being created, especially by private enterprise.”

Ball State economist Michael Hicks agrees with Slaper but says the individual job sector numbers give him pause.

“What we might be seeing with manufacturing shrinking and with business services shrinking, we might see that, at some point in the coming months, the slowdown in the national economy will at least modestly affect Indiana,” he says.

Hicks and Slaper say a positive is that more construction jobs may mean an improving housing market.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Luzia

    Assuming these numbers are correct, and assuming the mathematicians considered the actual population number (meaning people didn’t leave Indiana looking for work), why are….“The more important numbers (are) actually the jobs that we see being created, especially by private enterprise.”
    In other words, why is it better to have empty jobs than real people employed and working…? When did work become a 4-letter word, if you know what I mean… because clearly.. it is a four letter word and perhaps it shouldn’t be… In my opinion I think we need to talk about what is best for ALL people, not just what’s best for any enterprise. This should be intuitive… right?

  • SayWhat!?

    I’m pretty sure that unemployment figures only count people who are IN the labor force, so this article does not make sense. The reason that both jobs AND unemployment can increase is that people who previously gave up looking for work can start looking again (and therefore be counted among the unemployed) when the jobs picture starts to look better.

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