Hoosiers Make Up Almost 2% of National Unemployment Record

Mar 26, 2020

Credit Justin Hicks/WVPE

Nearly 3-point-3 million Americans filed to receive unemployment benefits last week, the most ever in one week according to the Department of Labor. 

That number includes almost 54,000 Hoosiers, as many businesses temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Compared to the same week last year, many Indiana counties saw an unemployment increase in the thousands. The biggest spike was in Clark County where unemployment claims increased just shy of 10 thousand percent. According to the Department of Labor, the main industries affected were food services and accomodation with entertainment, transportation,
warehousing and manufacturing taking big hits, too.

Rachel Blakeman is the director of the Community Research Institute at Purdue University Fort Wayne. She says a vast majority of the unemployment claims filed in Indiana were driven by service industries that were placed on a temporary pause.

“We do know there are jobs out there,” she says. “The question is, how willing are workers to pivot knowing that, frankly, restaurants are going to come back.”

She anticipates this won’t be a one-week “blip” and that unemployment numbers will continue to grow throughout Indiana’s Stay-at-Home directive.