Indiana Jobless Rate Falls Again
March 28, 2014 – Indiana’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for February, released today by the state’s Department of Workforce Development (IDWD), fell to 6.1 percent, dropping three tenths of a percent from 6.4 in January. The IDWD referred to this as a “significant downward trend,” saying the number of unemployed Hoosiers is now fewer than 200,000 for the first time since August of 2008.
“Indiana has had a strong start to 2014 despite the harsh winter,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development in a press release. “Our unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since August of 2008 and our labor force has expanded by nearly 14,000 in two months.”
Sectors showing the largest gains in February were Leisure and Hospitality (2,200), Construction (2,000) Trade, Transportation & Utilities (1,400) and Manufacturing (800).
Not everyone is celebrating the jobless report. Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City issued a statement on the February 2014 unemployment figures saying the state should “curb the happy talk.”
The statement, printed in part below, points out specifics of the report that Pelath says paint a different picture.
“For example, it is interesting to note that while the report says the number of employed people rose from January to February (2,951,000 to 2,961,746), it also says that the number of unemployed people rose during the same time frame (206,656 in January to 218,567 in February). That means 10,746 people became employed, while 11,911 became unemployed. Again, math isn’t my best subject, but I’m not sure you should be engaged in a lot of boundless, sunny optimism when more people lose jobs than get them.
“I also will note that all but one of the 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas saw unemployment rates go up from January to February. Further, of Indiana’s 92 counties, the unemployment rates in 87 of them went up from January to February, while three (Benton, Elkhart and Rush) stayed the same and two (Franklin and Wayne) went down.”