Unemployment Rate, Indiana Labor Force Rise

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Indiana's labor force participation rate was 64.9 percent, compared to the national average of 63 percent. Indiana's labor force participation rate was 64.9 percent, compared to the national average of 63 percent.

Ball State University economist Mike Hicks says, even with a higher unemployment rate, the state's jobs picture is in good shape. The March unemployment rate jumped to 5 percent, a 0.3 percent increase from February. Hicks says the rate "has become a not especially good measure of how strong the labor markets are." The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says 9,300 more Hoosiers joined the labor force in March, which affected the unemployment rate.

DWD Commissioner Steven Braun says "the fact that 9,300 more Hoosiers are employed than last month, and over 87,000 more are employed than this time last year, is a testament to Indiana’s strong and growing economy."

The state unemployment rate has gone up for the second time in as many months and now matches the national average. Despite the uptick, the state says 9,300 more Hoosiers were employed in March, compared to February.

Braun says "over 60,000 Hoosiers joined the workforce in the first three months of 2016, which is indicative of worker confidence in finding and securing gainful employment in Indiana."

The Private Education & Health Services sector added 2,500 jobs in March. The Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Construction sectors lost a combined 6,400 jobs.

Michigan, at 4.8 percent, has surpassed Indiana as the state in the region with the lowest unemployment rate. Ohio's rate stands at 5.1 percent, Kentucky dipped to 5.6 percent and Illinois rose slightly to 6.5 percent.

You can connect to more about the state's unemployment performance in March by clicking here.

Hicks tells Inside INdiana Business improvements in the unemployment rate are hard to come by.
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