Steve Braun

Indiana workforce officials are convening dozens of groups of local education and business leaders across the state to improve training efforts for new workers.

It’s the next phase of the Indiana’s SkillUp program, which aims to help localize training efforts for the state’s estimated million job openings in the next decade.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

Legislators last year budgeted $84 million for Regional Cities grants, with the money to come from the state’s tax amnesty program.

The amnesty raised more money than predicted, and Pence announced three $42 million grants in December instead of two.

But House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) warned last week the votes aren't there to get the extra money out of committee.

Several committee members say they resent being put on the spot to back up the administration's promises without first being consulted.

Flazingo Photos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/124247024@N07/

Indiana’s unemployment rate fell in March to its lowest level in five months.  But the state’s private sector also lost jobs.

The Hoosier unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percent to 5.8-percent in March, the second month in a row the rate went down.  But it's still three-tenths of a percent higher than the national average of 5.5-percent.

But that drop may not be good news: the state’s private sector lost 800 jobs last month, fueled by huge losses – more than 5,000 – in the professional and business services sector. 

Jenna Purcella / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jenna77/2061335649

After four months without a decrease in unemployment, Indiana’s rate fell below 6-percent in February. 

Indiana’s unemployment rate rose to 6-percent in January, the first time it hit that mark in nearly a year. 

But it only lasted a month, falling back to 5.9-percent in February.  The state’s private sector also created 1,700 jobs last month. 

The slight dip in the unemployment rate is due in part to Hoosiers leaving the labor force in February, meaning fewer people looking for work. 

Andreas Johannsen / https://www.flickr.com/photos/andjohan/564471485

Indiana’s private sector added more jobs last month than any single month in 15 years.  Yet the state’s unemployment rate remains unchanged.

The private sector added nearly 16,000 jobs in November, led by huge gains in the Professional and Business services sector. 

But the state’s unemployment rate held steady for the third consecutive month at 5.7-percent.  That’s because the additional jobs were largely offset by additions to the workforce – more than 12,000 people last month joined the job hunt. 

Caucus This Evening To Fill Zionsville Rep's House Seat

Dec 9, 2014
Indiana House Republicans

Six candidates compete in a Republican caucus in Zionsville tonight to fill an open Indiana House seat.

Rep. Steve Braun (R-Zionsville) resigned immediately after his reelection to become Governor Pence‘s workforce development commissioner. The district is evenly divided between Zionsville and Carmel, and so are the six candidates.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

The Indiana General Assembly has three vacancies to fill this month before it returns to work January 6th. Republican precinct leaders in northeast Indiana meet Thursday in Huntington, and are expected to name Columbia City Senator Jim Banks‘ wife Amanda to fill in for him while he‘s on active duty with the Navy.

Republicans must also replace Representatives Steve Braun of Zionsville and Eric Turner of Cicero.

State Chairman Tim Berry says three candidates have already filed for Braun’s seat, and at least four more are considering it.