More Jobs, But Unemployment Rate Holds Steady
5.9% rate second-lowest among neighboring states to Ohio
Aug. 18, 2014
Indiana added jobs last month, but the unemployment rate held steady.
July's unemployment rate was 5.9% according to the Department of Workforce Development, the same as the rate in June. The rate didn't budge even though the state created 9,900 private sector jobs, continuing the state's trend of job growth outside government. "5,500 of those jobs were in manufacturing, which led the nation," said department spokesman Joe Frank, adding that the state has added more than 66,000 jobs in the private sector over the last year. The nation's unemployment rate last month was 6.2%.
What kept the unemployment rate from falling was the growth in the number of people looking for work. "Over the past year, our labor force has increased by roughly 54,000 individuals, which is a completely different story than Illinois and Ohio, which have seen their labor forces decrease by more than 100,000 each," Frank said. Ohio still had the lowest unemployment rate among neighboring states at 5.7%, with Indiana's lower than Illinois (6.8%), Kentucky (7.4%) and Michigan (7.7%). As for why the labor force is increasing, "most of these folks recently graduated from college, but we have actually seen it in a lot of different areas. Hoosiers have seen that people are going back to work and that jobs are available," Frank said.
Total non-farm employment fell by 600 jobs in July, with job losses reported in government and professional and development services. But Frank says they don't believe that's a firm number. "School calendar have been flexed over the years, and schools are starting and ending at different times than in the past, so it's more a reflection of the actual trend that an actual loss of jobs over the past month," said Frank.