Indiana's May Unemployment Rate Drops Significantly, But Still Elevated

Jun 21, 2020

Papa Vino's, a restaurant in Mishawaka, advertises that its dining room has reopened after closing due to the state's orders.
Credit (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Indiana’s unemployment rate fell more than 5 percent in May according to data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. However, the same report revised April’s rate upwards from what was already a record high. 

Indiana’s unemployment rate fell to 12.3 percent last month, from a revised April rate of 17.5 percent. According to BLS, that one-month decrease is the third largest in the country. The state says it was largely driven by workers returning to jobs in restaurants, manufacturing facilities and education or health services.

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Kosali Simon is an economist at the O’Neil School at Indiana University. She says unemployed Black and Latino workers may be hit harder by unemployment than White workers because they often have less savings. 

“You know, it’s [about] how comfortably can families withstand unemployment of a short duration,” she says. “That’s often by dipping into savings and that’s often where there’s these big gaps.”

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of unemployed Hoosiers continue to apply for unemployment benefits each week.

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