Indiana employment/business outlook appears rosy

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in November and Indiana businesses added 13,300 new Hoosier jobs last month, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

“Here in Indiana, job creation is job one, and we continue to work tirelessly to build a pro-growth business climate and equip job creators with the tools they need to succeed,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “Since 2013, Indiana businesses have added 168,000 jobs for hardworking Hoosiers and our unemployment rate has plummeted below the national average. Our state’s low-cost, low-tax, limited-regulation economic environment has not only earned Indiana recognition as first in the Midwest and fifth in the nation for doing business, but it creates fiscal predictability, allowing job creators to invest in what matters most – in their business and in their employees.”

Smith cited three particular areas:

• Unemployment – The state’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points in November to 4.2 percent, besting the national average of 4.6 percent, as well as the unemployment rates of all neighboring states. Indiana’s unemployment rate has dropped a full 4.2 percentage points since January 2013, surpassing the national decline of 3.4 percentage points.

• Job Growth – The BLS report says that Indiana businesses have added 36,500 new jobs so far this year and 168,000 new jobs since January 2013. The state’s private sector job growth has increased by 14.5 percentage points since July 2009, surpassing the nation’s growth of 13.6 percentage points. November marks the 17th consecutive month that private sector employment, which currently stands at 2.6 million, has remained above Indiana’s previous employment record from March 2000.

• Labor Force – Indiana’s labor force, which includes both Hoosiers who are employed and those seeking employment, has increased by 67,327 over the last year and 161,290 since January 2013. The state’s labor force has grown by 4.9 percentage points since July 2009, surpassing the nation’s growth rate of 3.2 percentage points. The state’s labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of Hoosiers who are actively seeking work, stands at 64.7 percent. The national rate stands at 62.7 percent.

The report also states that in 2016, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation secured 227 commitments from companies across the country and around the world to locate or grow in Indiana. These businesses plan to invest nearly $3.7 billion in their Indiana operations and create 20,320 new Hoosier jobs in the coming years, paying an hourly wage of $25.43. That is a marked increase over the state’s 2015 average hourly wage of $21.21.