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Indiana's unemployment rate continues record-breaking streak

As the unemployment rate continues to fall, employers continue to struggle finding workers.
Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
As the unemployment rate continues to fall, employers continue to struggle finding workers.

Indiana’s unemployment rate hit record lows for the third straight month in February at 2.3 percent as the state also recorded the highest number of people working in a private-sector job.

Just about every employment metric headed in a positive direction in February. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points from the month prior. And the labor force participation rate – which measures out of all Hoosiers, how many are working or looking for work – rose 0.2 percentage points.

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Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne calls that a winning combination. But he notes, there’s still roughly 150,000 open jobs and only 90,000 people unemployed and ready to work.

“The talent is there but it’s locked up at another job or individuals are taking training or [pursuing] education so they’re technically, for the moment, out of the workforce,” Payne said.

While that ratio of jobs to workers spells a tough time for anyone hiring right now, it means opportunities abound for workers to seek higher wages and get job training.

Indiana has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, trailing only Nebraska and Utah.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

Justin Hicks has joined the reporting team for Indiana Public Broadcasting News (IPB News) through funding made available by (IPBS) Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. Justin will be based out of WVPE in his new role as a Workforce Development Reporter for IPB News. Justin comes to Indiana by way of New York. He has a Master's Degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He previously earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Appalachian State University where he played trumpet. He first learned about Elkhart, Indiana, because of the stamp on his brass instrument indicating where it was produced.