Indiana’s Private Sector Adds Jobs, But Unemployment Rate Rises
Indiana’s private sector started the year off strong in January, adding jobs for the 19th consecutive month. And as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, the state’s labor force saw its greatest single-month expansion in nearly 20 years:
While the state’s private sector added 82 hundred jobs in January, the unemployment rate climbed to its highest level in nearly a year, at 8.6 percent. But the state Department of Workforce Development says the rise in the unemployment rate is due to a huge influx of people to the labor force, which is made up of both people with jobs and those actively looking for work. In a statement, Governor Mike Pence called the job numbers encouraging but said the economy is still struggling. He called on the General Assembly to pass a budget that puts Hoosiers back to work…which he says would include his proposed ten percent income tax cut. Senate Appropriations chair Luke Kenley says the Pence tax cut is a viable option but the legislature has to determine the best way to stimulate the economy:
“And how do we go about doing this in a way that we don’t threaten our ability to just, you might say, maintain a reasonable budget in the future without some big hiccups?”
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is the best job creation measure, citing a study that says it could add up to 30 thousand jobs in the state. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.