Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Indiana's labor force shrinks in March, as unemployment rate holds steady

A sign reads "Now Hiring Help Wanted"
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Indiana's unemployment rate has held steady at 3.5 percent since September 2023.

Indiana’s labor force has declined five consecutive months, the longest such streak in more than two years.

That’s as the state’s unemployment rate has been unchanged for seven months in a row.

Indiana’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in March, the same rate it’s been since September and lower than the national rate.

But the state’s labor force continues to shrink. The labor force is a count of not just those with a job, but also those actively looking for one. It’s often cited as a measure of optimism in the economy. And that measure has declined by about 28,000 people since October.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

That five month change is driven almost entirely by those who no longer have jobs, to the tune of more than 29,000 people. The number of people out of work but actively seeking employment over that period is up by just 235.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.