Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in five and a half years, now lower than the national rate, even as the state’s private sector lost jobs in January.
The Indiana unemployment rate fell nearly half a percent in January, its largest one-month drop in 20 years. Its rate of 6.4 percent is the lowest since September 2008 and the first time the state’s rate has been below the national average in nearly two years.
Governor Mike Pence announced Wednesday the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has secured job commitments with a record 261 companies this year. But Pence says there’s still more work to be done.
The job commitments made in 2013, worth more than $2 billion to Indiana’s economy, are expected to create more than 21,000 jobs in the state over the next several years. The expected jobs will pay a higher wage, nearly 22 dollars an hour, than the state average, which is 20 dollars an hour.
The unemployment rate among young adults in Indiana is significantly higher than the state average and a Ball State economist says Hoosiers in that age group are still struggling to recover from the recession.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is deploying a new marketing campaign aimed at reducing the state’s unemployment rate.
Governor Mike Pence often said on the campaign trail he wanted to make Indiana the state that works. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is borrowing that slogan for its new marketing campaign.
State Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith says the campaign will use a broad-based approach that incorporates its new website.
Governor Mike Pence is encouraging more companies to take part in HIRE, a state program that helps former convicts reenter the workforce. Pence says the program generated $8 million last year for the state.
Of the more than 20,000 people released from Indiana prisons each year, the Department of Corrections reports 36 percent return to prison within three years. The recidivism rate climbs to 60 percent if the person is unemployed.
Since the mid-1990s, per capita income (as a percentage of national per capita income) has been steadily dropping for residents of Northeastern Indiana. But new data released this week shows the downward trend may have finally turned the corner.