Indiana Unemployment Rate Falls, But Benefits Data Shows Many Workers Still Struggling

Jul 18, 2020

A worker in downtown Indianapolis takes a smoke break.
Credit (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates unemployment in Indiana dropped just more than 1 percent in June from 12.3 percent to 11.2 percent. It’s a slight drop from the previous month, but slightly higher than the national average of 11.1.

Despite the drop in Indiana’s unemployment rate, last week’s unemployment insurance report shows the number of Hoosiers continuing to get unemployment benefits rose for the first time in two months. Meanwhile some unemployed or underemployed workers still report waiting months to receive benefits.

Fort Wayne resident Michelle Sizemore found herself unemployed in June after a restaurant she worked at closed indefinitely, then a part time job stocking grocery shelves ended. She said without a job and waiting for issues with her benefits to be resolved, her debts are mounting.

“[I’m] two months behind on the mortgage, two months behind on all the utilities ... most of the credit cards have been pretty decent,” she said. “Most of them have deferred me until August, but August is right around the corner.”

To combat unemployment, the state has increased funding for job training classes for workers and employers. 

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