By Lesley Weidenbener
INDIANAPOLIS – The state’s unemployment rate dropped again in November as Indiana gained more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation.
state’s rate of 7.3 percent is still higher than the national rate of 7 percent but lower than any of Indiana’s neighbors.
Indiana added 25,300 jobs, the largest one-month increase for the state on record, with gains in trade and transportation, construction, manufacturing and professional and business sectors.
The jobs report came even as the state’s fiscal leaders heard an economic forecast that projected tax receipts will be lower than expected through June 30, 2015.
Still, Gov. Mike Pence said the jobs 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.
“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,” he said.
But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said the jobs numbers don’t mean much if income is not also rising. Currently, Indiana trails the nation in per-capita income and the gap has ben growing.
“There should be no shock to see the state’s unemployment numbers going down as we head into a holiday season,” Pelath said. “Indiana’s largest employer is Walmart. It should be obvious and predictable that our biggest gains would be in the service sector.”
“I am glad that there are more folks able to pick up work around the holidays,” he said. “But I’m sure we also can agree that this is not a path to prosperity.”
The state’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly throughout this year. Just last summer, 8.5 percent of Hoosiers were unemployed.
“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,” said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “However, we need to keep the ball moving by strengthening Indiana’s pro-growth climate.”
Lesley Weidenbener is executive editor of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin
Filed Under: Political