Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

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Indiana's unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent in December, up from 5.7 percent in November. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the return of thousands of Hoosiers to the labor force caused the increase. The agency says the state ended 2014 with a total of 51,500 jobs added.

January 27, 2015

News release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Indiana gained 4,000 private sector jobs in December and ended 2014 with a total of 51,500 jobs added. The Hoosier State's continued job growth encouraged the return this month of more than 9,000 Hoosiers to the labor force to look for work. The large influx of jobseekers drove Indiana's unemployment rate up 0.1 percent to 5.8 percent. Since December 2013, Indiana’s labor force has grown by over 83,000 individuals, nearly twice that of any other Midwestern state. This is the first month in a year that Indiana’s unemployment rate has exceeded the U.S. rate, which declined by 0.2 percent to 5.6 percent, mainly due to a decrease of 273,000 in the national labor force.

Indiana’s private sector growth in December was led mostly by increases in the Professional & Business Services (+3,700), and Manufacturing (+1,600) sectors. Since July 2009, the low point of employment in the state, Indiana has grown a total of 267,000 private sector jobs. The Hoosier State now stands only 18,000 private sector jobs below the all-time peak benchmark of employment in the state, which occurred in March of 2000.

"Indiana's labor force growth over the past year has been extraordinary," said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "Since December 2013, the Hoosier labor force has grown by more than 83,000 individuals, which is nearly twice that of any other Midwestern state. This is proof Hoosiers are confident the state's economy is improving and are returning to work. It has also directly resulted in an unemployment rate that remains higher than many of our Midwest neighbors."

Braun also noted 63.7 percent of Hoosiers are participating in the labor force, which is a full percentage point higher than the national average. This marks the ninth month in a row Indiana has exceeded the national labor force participation rate.

Employment by Sector

Sectors showing gains in December include: Professional and Business Services (3,700), Manufacturing (1,600), Private Educational & Health Services (400), and Leisure and Hospitality (300). The Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-1,100) sector was the only to experience declines in December. Total nonfarm employment increased in December (5,100).

Midwest Unemployment Rates