Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.6 percent for April and remains lower than the national rate of 4.4 percent. 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 labor force increased by 4,805 over the previous month with a 16,408 increase in employment and an 11,603 decrease in unemployment. Indiana’s total labor force stands at more than 3.32 million, and the state’s 64.6 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent.
“Indiana’s unemployment rate reaching its lowest point since 2001 is a testament to the strength of the Hoosier economy; however, it’s also indicative of an ever-tightening labor market for Hoosier businesses,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD). “I encourage unemployed and underemployed Hoosiers to be steadfast in their job searches and consider training and placement opportunities available at their local WorkOne Career Center.”
Braun noted Indiana’s historically low number of unemployment insurance claims are also a sign of a constricting labor market. He added that while the figures are certainly positive, they do represent a workforce challenge in meeting current employer demand.
Employment by Sector
Private sector employment has grown by more than 28,700 over the year, despite a decrease of 9,300 over the previous month due to losses in the Manufacturing (-3,200) and Private Educational & Health Services (-3,300) sectors.. Losses were partially offset by gains in the Leisure and Hospitality (800) and Financial Activities (800) sectors. Total private employment stands at 2,676,200 and is 700 below the November 2016 peak.
Private sector employment measures jobs and comes from the BLS’s Current Employment Statistics (CES) report, which is a payroll survey that measures the number of jobs in the area being surveyed. The other of two BLS reports – the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) report – measures people and surveys households and measures people based on their place of residence. LAUS determines Indiana’s labor force and unemployment rate measures.
Occasionally, variances exist between the two sets of data. Due to monthly ebbs, flows and revisions, it is recommended that labor market information be viewed on a year-to-year basis rather than month-to-month. View the Indiana Employment Report Primer for a more detailed explanation of the differences between the LAUS and CES reports.