The state’s unemployment rate has increased to 5.2 percent in April. Indiana’s rate is now higher than the national average, but tied with Ohio for the second-lowest among neighboring states. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says a "large influx" of Hoosiers into the labor pool led to the 0.2 percent unemployment uptick.
Indiana’s labor force participation jumped to 65.3 percent, which still outpaces the national average. The department says the state is experiencing "unprecedented" labor force growth. The numbers have increased for four straight months. Commissioner Steven Braun says "more than 80,000 Hoosiers joined the workforce in the last four months, which doubles Indiana’s labor force growth for all of 2015. Correspondingly, nearly 60,000 more Hoosiers joined the employed ranks in 2016. This suggests Hoosiers are increasingly confident in finding gainful employment."
The private sector added 12,000 jobs in April, which the state says pushes Indiana to its highest private sector employment total ever. In all, seven of the nine major industries reported positive job totals last month. The manufacturing sector added 3,300 jobs, as did trade, transportation and utilities. Professional services and private health and education services added a combined 4,600 jobs. Government and all other categories offset the gains by a total of 2,700 jobs.
The national unemployment rate sits at 5 percent. In the Midwest, Michigan is 4.8 percent. Indiana and Ohio are each at 5.2 percent. Kentucky is just behind at 5.3 percent and unemployment in Illinois increased to 6.6 percent.
You can connect to the state’s report by clicking here.