05/01/12 Indiana’s private sector employment continues to grow, with 5,300 jobs added in March. The state’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent to 8.2 percent, matching the national rate, which declined 0.1 percent from February. March was the fourth consecutive month the state’s rate declined. The unemployment rate in Indiana has not been below 8.2 percent since December of 2008.

Taking a look locally, Marshall County is ranked 40th out of the 92 counties with a rate of 9.2.  Other counties around the area include Starke ranked number 6 with a rate of 10.8, LaPorte is 7th with a rate of 10.7, Elkhart County is 21st with a rate of 9.9 while just to our north Saint Joseph County is 29th with a rate of 9.7.  Local counties with a rate lower than Marshall County include Fulton County who is ranked 42nd with a rate of 9.1, and Kosciusko County ranked 74th with a rate of 7.5.

Vermillion County tops the list in Indiana with a rate of 12.1 while Hamilton County rounds out the bottom of the list with a rate of 5.8.

Sectors showing significant employment gains in March include: Manufacturing (3,400), Leisure and Hospitality (2,500) and Financial Activities (1,300). The Professional and Business Services (-2,500) sector showed significant decline. Total non-farm employment increased in March (3,000).

Additionally, a drop in Indiana’s unemployment rate means that under federal law the state is no longer eligible for the fourth tier of federally funded extended benefits. Tier four is the final six weeks of the current 79 weeks of unemployment insurance available. According to federal law, the state’s three-month average unemployment rate must be above 8.5 percent to qualify. Hoosiers will be unable to file a new claim for tier four beginning Sunday, May 20, 2012. Individuals currently receiving tier 4 benefits will be able to finish any remaining weeks on their claim. Approximately 5,000 Hoosiers are currently receiving the fourth tier of federally extended benefits.


March   2011 February   2012 March   2012 Monthly   Change
Indiana 8.8% 8.4% 8.2% -0.2%
U.S. 8.9% 8.3% 8.2% -0.1%
Illinois 9.3% 9.1% 8.8% -0.3%
Kentucky 9.7% 8.7% 8.6% -0.1%
Michigan 10.5% 8.8% 8.5% -0.3%
Ohio 8.8% 7.6% 7.5% -0.1%