News and Tribune

December 21, 2013

Indiana, local unemployment rates drop

Hoosier personal income growth 42nd in nation

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Two reports issued last week showed different views of the labor market in Indiana.

While the state’s unemployment rate dropped in November, and more than 25,000 private sector jobs were added, Indiana ranked 42nd in personal income growth for the third quarter of 2013.

Indiana’s jobless mark fell from 7.5 percent in October to 7.3 percent in November according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in November of 2012. Labor gains in the manufacturing, construction and trade, transportation and utilities sectors were credited for driving down the jobless rate.

“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,” Gov. Mike Pence said on Friday.

Locally, Floyd County’s rate unofficially dropped from 7 percent in October to 6.2 percent in November. Clark County’s jobless rate also decreased from 7.7 percent to 6.3 percent over the month.

But while wages have been relatively flat since 2007, Uric Dufrene, professor of finance at Indiana University Southeast, said a study released on Thursday that ranked Indiana 42nd in third quarter personal income growth reflected the soft spot manufacturing hit in the state earlier in the year.

“This report is another example that weakness in anything related to manufacturing will have an impact on the entire state,” said Dufrene, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics study showed manufacturing income growth was slightly negative for the third quarter in Indiana.

Personal income grew by .70 percent from the second to the third quarter of 2013 in the state.

The national average for the period was 1.1 percent income growth. New Mexico recorded the lowest income growth at .4 percent, and Mississippi yielded the highest growth at 1.9 percent.

As far as jobs go, about 232,400 Hoosiers are unemployed as of November compared to 240,600 in November of 2008.

“November was a historic month of job growth in Indiana,” said Scott B. 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.”