04/05/13 Indiana continued a steady trend of private sector expansion in February, adding 5,800 jobs, maintaining a streak of growth dating back to July 2011. February marked the 38th month of private sector increases in the 42 months since July 2009, the low point of employment in Indiana. In that period, Indiana has added more than 188,000 private sector jobs, nearly 65,000 of which have been in the manufacturing sector alone. Over the past year manufacturing job growth in Indiana has more than tripled the national average (3.3 percent versus 0.9 percent).
For the second month in a row, Indiana also experienced a significant swell in the labor force, adding 7,500 Hoosiers, 3,800 of which were unemployed individuals who begin looking for work again. The sizeable labor force increase in February once again drove an uptick in the employment rate, which crept up 0.1 percent from January to 8.7 percent.
Taking a look at Marshall County, the unemployment rate for February was 9.7 a substantial drop from 10.4 in January. The Counties surrounding Marshall County all experienced a drop in their unemployment rates in February with St. Joseph reporting in with 10.6, Elkhart 9.8, Kosciusko 7.7, Fulton 10.3, Pulaski 8.1, Starke 12.3 and LaPorte12.0.
While the extraordinary jump in the Hoosier Labor Force over the past two months tells us folks are optimistic about Indiana’s economic recovery, the unemployment rate is still too high, said Scott Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce. Job growth is certainly moving in the right direction, but there is definitely a good deal more work to do.