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July 19, 2013

Local, state unemployment rates rise

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reflective of the state’s mark, the unemployment rate for Clark and Floyd Counties increased from May to June.

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study released Thursday showed Clark County’s jobless rate rose from 7.5 percent to 8.1 percent, and Floyd County’s unemployment mark jumped from 7.3 percent to 7.7 percent over the span.

Indiana’s jobless rate slightly increased from 8.3 percent to 8.4 percent from May to June, according to the unofficial numbers.

Kentucky’s unemployment rate also jumped, from 8.1 percent to 8.4 percent.

“For Indiana and Kentucky, it definitely shows a slower pace of payroll growth now compared to the start of the year,” said Uric Dufrene, vice chancellor of academic affairs for Indiana University Southeast and the former Sanders Chair of the IUS School of Business.

“Year-over-year payroll growth continues to be positive, but at a pace that is considerably slower than earlier this year.”

The number of unemployed Hoosiers grew by about 2,000 from May to June; Kentucky’s number increased by almost 5,000.

However, private sector employment did increase by about 5,300 jobs in June.

“The manufacturing sector experienced the largest one-month increase in nearly a decade,” said Scott B. Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

“The majority of the growth occurred in durable goods, mainly in transportation equipment.”

About 4,300 jobs were added in Indiana’s manufacturing sector last month. However, the construction, professional and business services and leisure and hospitality sectors showed declines in employment.

“This report shows that labor markets continue to face headwinds,” Dufrene said, adding that Kentucky and Indiana have unemployment rates that are at “unsatisfactorily high levels” that are higher than the national average.

“One of the issues continues to be weak domestic demand,” Dufrene said. “The nation needs to see a noticeable increase in [Gross Domestic Product] growth before we begin to see a higher pace of regional job growth.”

Dufrene added that he would not be surprised to see a slower pace of job growth for the Louisville Metro Statistical Area when the next metropolitan employment report is released by the federal government.

“Earlier in the year, payrolls were up to 625,000, almost surpassing the pre-recession job peak,” Dufrene said. “The last metro report showed seasonally adjusted payrolls at 619,000.”

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