Indiana’s Jobs Market is Outperforming the rest of the Nation

INDIANA, (WOWO): Indiana’s jobs market is outperforming that of the rest of the nation; though one economist says there isn't a firm reason why.

The nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.7-percent in March according to the Department of Labor, with businesses adding 192,000 jobs. That’s more than March a year ago, but less than what many economists expected, and virtually all of the jobs created were part-time.

“We actually had more part-time jobs and fewer full-time jobs in March as opposed to February according to the business surveys,” said Mike Hicks, director of Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.

Indiana‘s unemployment rate was 6.1-percent in February, and the state has a job creation rate well above the national rate. Hicks says there is no good scientific reason the state is performing so well. “My guess is that the fiscal climate and the business climate here is allowing for expansion and new investments at levels that are just not going to be taking place in other states.”

Nationally, the ancillary numbers around the unemployment rate were not strong in March, Hicks said. The labor force participation rate was 63.2%, up marginally but still near a three-and-a-half year low. The economy created an average of 178,000 jobs per month for the first quarter of 2014, which is below the average for the first quarter of last year.  

Hicks says a slight slowdown in the economy the second half of 2013 appears to be continuing. “We don‘t know how many new net jobs that is given the growth of the population. But it could well be that, at that rate, it will take another ten years or so to work the unemployment level down to about a five-percent level.” 7.4 million people are working part-time jobs when they would like to be working full-time, an increase of 225,000 from February.

The broader measure of unemployment that includes those workers increased to 12.7-percent in March, up one-tenth of a percentage point. “Manufacturing also declined by 1,000 last month. 9.000 non-durable manufacturing jobs were lost. About one-in-six jobs were created in temp agencies.