Uric Dufrene-1

Uric Dufrene, Sanders Chair of Business at IUS

SOUTHERN INDIANA — The unemployment rate for the Louisville Metropolitan Statistical Area increased last month, but that’s not necessarily a bad indication.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Wednesday, Louisville Metro — which includes Clark County and Floyd County — saw an increase in its jobless rate from 3.7% in May to 5.3% in June.

“Unlike prior months, the report showed an increase in the regional labor force,” said Uric Dufrene, Sanders Chair in Business at Indiana University Southeast. “Estimates show that the labor force increased by approximately 6,000 from May to June.”

Despite the unemployment rate increase, Dufrene viewed the report as favorable for the region.

“One of the challenges facing the region has been sufficient growth in the labor force,” he said. “These are preliminary estimates, but the increase does show promise. If we can continue to see gains in the labor force, we will also see payrolls increase in the second half of the year.”

But the region is still down about 31,000 jobs from the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020.

“Southern Indiana is also seeing significant growth in employment, but labor force growth is moving sideways,” Dufrene said.

Clark County’s jobless rate in June was 4.3%, up slightly from 4.1% in May. Floyd County’s rate was recorded at 3.5%, up from 3.4% the previous month.

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