Unemployment in Indiana
Indiana's unemployment rate in September 2009 grew slightly higher than the national average, and as one employment services expert put it, that doesn't offer much solace if you can't find a job.
Unemployment rates have continued to rise as companies trim their workforce and put off hiring new employees as a way to keep costs down in a struggling economy. Economists say that even though some firms are reporting some hints of improvement, many are choosing to go with contract-based or temporary workers until an economic recovery is solidly underway.
Mellisa Leaming, Director of Operations for WorkOne Eastern Indiana, said the unemployment rate did rise a bit in October but to keep in mind that there are regular seasonal layoffs this time of the year every year to take into account. For example, construction type jobs slow way down this time of year."
"There are very positive pockets of growth throughout Indiana's Region 6," said Leaming. "and while many people are laid off, permanently or temporarily, now is the time to research our Indiana In Demand occupations and get back to the classroom for an advanced degree, your first degree or certification." Leaming, who quotes Executive Director of the Eastern Indiana Regional Workforce Board Barbara Street, also said, "The best insurance against unemployment is education and skill development."
In Indiana's Economic Growth Region 6 (EGR 6), the number of people claiming regular unemployment benefits rose to 16,916 in September 2009, up from nearly 11,316 a year earlier. "But, please keep in mind," said Tracy Dishman, Marketing Director for WorkOne Eastern Indiana, "Our EGR 6 Labor Force was 159,229 in September 2009. The positive to this is that the Region 6 of Indiana has 142,313 people who are employed."
A recent report just completed by Indiana University East and Wayne County Foundation states, "health care employment, in particular, will almost certainly continue to expand (in our region), as it will across the country."
"Manufacturing holds promise as well. It is true that much of the Midwest has shed many manufacturing jobs in recent years. However, this industry still accounts for one of every five jobs in (the) area and pays relatively high wages."
Rushville, Indiana just announced 73 new advanced manufacturing jobs coming to their area. Delaware County is preparing its workforce for the 400+ jobs coming with opening of Brevini and VAT companies.
There is good news. Additional funding from the Indiana legislature and federal economic stimulus efforts has meant more resources for job training programs. Workforce development experts point to two key areas with opportunity for job-seekers: health care and administrative services. And workers with skilled trade credentials are also in demand. Check with your local WorkOne Center for information on how to obtain training at www.Work-One.org.