04/03/14 Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Hoosier State continued its significant downward trend in February. The rate stands at 6.1 percent down from an initially reported 6.4 percent in January. The number of unemployed Hoosiers is less than 200,000 for the first time since August of 2008. The employment rate has been on a downward slide so far in 2014 while the labor force has expanded by nearly 14,000. Indiana’s rate is now more than one-half of a percentage point below the national rate for the first time in a decade.

Indiana also added 5,400 private sector jobs in February. The Hoosier State has grown more than 214,000 private sector jobs since July 2009 the low point of employment in the state.

Taking a look locally we find Marshall County ranked 41st on the list of 92 counties with an unemployment rate of 7.2.  In November the rate was 7.4, December was 6.8 and January was 7.1.

Counties surrounding Marshall show LaPorte at 9.0 in January with an increase to 9.4 in February.  St. Joseph was at 7.3 in January and went up to 7.5 in February, Elkhart County stayed the same at 6.2 in January and February and Kosciusko stayed at 5.4.   Fulton County was at 8.8 in January and saw substantial decrease in February to 7.8.   Pulaski County’s rate was at 6.0 in January and rose to 6.2 in February while Starke County’s rate was 8.5 in January and increased to 9.1 in February. 

“Indiana has had a strong start to 2014 despite the harsh winter”, said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Our unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since August of 2008 and our labor force has expanded by nearly 14,000 in two months”.

Sanders also noted initial claims for unemployment insurance in February were nearly 5,000 below February 2013 levels and are at the lowest levels in nearly 15 years.