Indiana’s private sector added jobs for the fourth straight month in July. However, the state’s unemployment rate remains steady.
July’s growth of 5,900 private sector jobs was significantly boosted by the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector, which added nearly 11,000 jobs last month. That’s the sector’s biggest single-month increase in more than 20 years. Still, the state’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.4%.
In a statement, Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) called Monday’s job numbers a “cause for despair” for the state’s middle class. Pelath says the state needs a new approach that focuses on middle class job creators.
Governor Mike Pence says while he’s encouraged by continuing job growth, he’s frustrated by stubbornly high unemployment rates. He says his administration will redouble its efforts not just to build long-term economic success, but improve the immediate jobs picture.
“Our balanced budgets, our healthy reserves, low taxes, the fact that we’re Right to Work are all a contributing factor to the story that we can tell," the governor says, "but I also will tell you that I think that our innovative and new efforts to bring career and vocational education as a priority to every high school in Indiana is starting to capture notice.”
Pence says new Regional Works Councils, which will help develop curriculum for career and vocational education programs, should be up and running soon.
While statewide unemployment rate did not change last month, it was mostly lower in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.
The largest drop was in Fountain County, which experienced a 2.6% drop to 9.8%. Warren County’s jobless rate fell 2% to 7.8%.
Lafayette and West Lafayette also experienced an improved jobless situation at 8.7% and 6.1%, respectively.
- Benton Co. 8.5%, unchanged from June
- Carroll Co. 7.7%, down 0.2%
- Clinton Co. 7.8%, down 0.3%
- Fountain Co. 9.8%, down 2.6%
- Montgomery Co. 8.0%, down 0.4%
- Tippecanoe Co. 8.5%, down 0.2%
- Warren Co. 7.8%, down 2.0%
- White Co. 7.3%, down 0.3%