The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the number of Hoosiers working is the highest it’s been in 16 years.
Officials says the state’s labor force continued growing in April with 20,743 more Hoosiers joining the labor force.
Since the beginning of 2016, Indiana’s labor force has grown by more than 82,000 and by 178,000 since January 2013. Correspondingly, the state’s labor force participation rate increased 0.4 percent in April while the nation’s rate decreased 0.2 percent. Indiana continues to outpace the national labor force participation rate average by two and a half percent (65.3 percent vs. 62.8 percent).
Despite that increased participation, Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force, rose by 0.2 percent over the previous month to 5.2 percent in April.
DWD says the uptick is directly correlated to the large influx of Hoosiers joining the labor force. Additionally, initial unemployment insurance claims remain at their lowest level since the early 1970s.
“More than 80,000 Hoosiers joined the workforce in the last four months, which doubles Indiana’s labor force growth for all of 2015,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Correspondingly, nearly 60,000 more Hoosiers joined the employed ranks in 2016. This suggests Hoosiers are increasingly confident in finding gainful employment.”
Commissioner Braun also noted that Indiana’s private sector employment increased by 12,000 in April, bringing Indiana’s total to its highest point ever. He added that April was the tenth-consecutive month private sector employment has been above the March 2000 peak and now stands at more than 32,000 jobs above this benchmark period.
The highest levels of growth occurred in the Manufacturing (3,300), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (3,300), Professional & Business Services (2,700) and Private Education & Health Services (1,900) sector. Gains in seven of Indiana’s nine major industry sectors were only slightly offset with small losses in Government (-1,000) and All Other (-1,700). Over the past three years, Indiana’s private sector has grown by nearly 152,000 jobs.