Indiana's unemployment rate crept up in June although state officials touted the fact that private sector job growth grew for the eighth consecutive month.
The unemployment rate in Indiana was 8 percent last month, which is up 0.1 percentage points from May, according to data the Indiana Department of Workforce Development released Friday. It was the first time in nearly a year that state's jobless rate increased as nearly 266,000 people were without work in data adjusted for seasonal swings in employment.
"We're kind of going sideways right now," said Anthony Sindone, a continuing lecturer in economics at Purdue University North Central.
Sindone said he believes the job market is still showing the ill effects of an apparent reduction in demand for goods from domestic and international customers. If this trend continues, he said he wouldn't be surprised if there was a slight, but hopefully short-lived, economic downturn.
The state lost a total of 5,300 nonfarm jobs in June compared to May, led by the government sector shedding 6,700 jobs. Total nonfarm employment was nearly 2.88 million.
"Manufacturing continues to lead the charge in Hoosier job growth, adding 2,800 jobs in June and 15,100 for 2012," said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "Of the 140,400 private sector jobs Indiana has added since July 2009, almost half have come from this sector alone."
The nation's unemployment rate last month was 8.2 percent. Indiana was among 27 states that had higher month-over-month unemployment rates. Illinois' jobless rate rose to 8.7 percent in June from 8.6 percent in May.
One year ago, Indiana's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.
The rate of labor underutilization – or underemployment – in Indiana is estimated at 15.6 percent using a moving average from the second quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2012, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.