Unemployment in Indiana drops to 7.3 percent

2013-12-21T17:00:00Z 2013-12-23T14:08:08Z Unemployment in Indiana drops to 7.3 percentJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
December 21, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

The state's unemployment rate continued a downward slide by dropping 0.2 percentage points to 7.3 percent in November, though joblessness ticked up slightly in Northwest Indiana.

Indiana gained a record 25,300 private-sector jobs during the month. The gains were broad-based, and spread across all sectors except leisure and hospitality, which was flat.

Statewide, no sectors lost jobs.

"Today's job numbers are welcome news to every Hoosier and are a testament to the hard working people of our state and the businesses that power Indiana's economy every day," said Gov. Mike Pence. "The continued downward trend in unemployment and the significant growth in private sector jobs demonstrate that Indiana's economy is strong and growing stronger every day."

Indiana's joblessness rate continued to lag the national average of 7 percent.

In Northwest Indiana, unemployment rates in both the Gary and Michigan City metropolitan areas actually rose last month, though they are still below joblessness levels at the same time last year.

The Gary metro area's unemployment rate rose to 8.6 percent, as compared to 8.3 percent in October and 8.9 percent in November 2012. The Michigan City metro area's rate was 8.9 percent, which was up from 8.6 percent in October but down from 9.8 percent last November.

Last month, unemployment rose 0.1 percentage points in Lake County, 0.3 percentage points in LaPorte County, 0.4 percentage points in Porter County and 0.8 percentage points in Newton County.

Statewide, Indiana added 5,400 construction jobs, and 4,800 manufacturing jobs.The state added the second most manufacturing jobs in the nation in the nation last month.

Since the depth of the recession in July 2009, Indiana has added 64,800 manufacturing jobs, a 15.1 percent increase.

Indiana's biggest job gains last month came in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors. The state added 6,800 jobs in those sectors.

"November was a historic month of job growth in Indiana," said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "It is encouraging that fewer Hoosiers are unemployed than in November of 2008, and the unemployment rate has dropped by more than a percentage point over the past few months. However, we need to keep the ball moving by strengthening Indiana's pro-growth climate."

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