Indiana Jobless Rate Rises to 8%
First increase in 10 months
Indiana's unemployment rate went up in June -- the first increase in 10 months.
The state lost 20,600 jobs last month, enough to nudge the jobless rate up a tenth of a point to eight percent. That's the highest it's been since March.
Indiana's Department of Workforce Development points out 18,000 of those lost jobs reflect a decline in the total workforce -- the government's tally of people holding or seeking employment.
A DWD spokesman says the state considers that sharp decline statistically questionable.
Indiana is still doing better than the national average of 8.2, and better than all its neighbors except Ohio, which added jobs and cut unemployment to seven-point-two-percent.
Ball State economist Michael Hicks says the increased jobless rate is insignificant by itself, but coupled with a five-month national slowdown, he says it reinforces his prediction of a double-dip recession.
IU economist Timothy Slaper says a rebounding auto industry may keep Indiana afloat. But he says there are headwinds from the game of chicken in Washington over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts. And Hicks and Slaper both say there's a continuing threat from the uncertainty over Europe's debt crisis.