Indiana’s unemployment rate decreased by two-tenths of a percent to 4.0 percent in December, which marks its lowest point since 2001. The unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force. Indiana’s total labor force stands at over 3.3 million and the state’s 64.3 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.
Indiana’s Labor Force increased 28,419 with a 45,330 increase in employment and a 16,911 decrease in unemployment during 2016. This combination of employment growth and decreasing unemployment led to Indiana’s unemployment rate falling from 4.6 percent to 4.0 percent over the course of the year.
“Indiana has experienced workforce growth in nearly all measurable areas during 2016; however, we still have work to do to reach our workforce potential as a state,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD). “Moving forward, it is essential for Indiana to develop and expand programs that equip Hoosiers with the skills necessary to fill the thousands of open positions available today and the one million jobs projected to be available over the next decade.”
Commissioner Braun also noted private sector employment has grown by almost 23,000 over the year. He added that initial unemployment insurance claims remain at the lowest point in three decades.
Employment by Sector
Indiana experienced a loss of 6,000 private sector jobs with Private Education Services accounting for 5,900 of the decline. Losses were offset by gains in the Manufacturing (+2,700) and Construction (+1,800) sectors. Other sectors experiencing declines include Professional & Business Services (-2,700), Trade,Transportation & Utilities (-1,300), Financial Activities (-1,100), All Other (-200),and Leisure & Hospitality (-100).