The unemployment rate in Bloomington decreased by 0.7% in August despite unemployment rates statewide reaching their highest point in almost two years. People who are not employed but actively seeking employment are counted in the unemployment rate.
According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Indiana’s unemployment rate in August was 3.4%, a 0.1% increase from the statewide unemployment rate of 3.3% in July 2023. The DWD estimates that in August, more than 138,000 people in Indiana were unemployed and seeking a job. While only a minor increase, the DWD reports the Indiana statewide unemployment rate is at its highest point in two years.
“The number of Hoosiers in the labor force remains near an all-time high, and the need for skilled workers has never been greater,” DWD Commissioner Richard Paulk said in a press release.
Bloomington saw a significant decrease in unemployment rates last month, dropping from a rate of 4.4% in July to 3.7% in August. The DWD estimates 2,961 Bloomington residents are unemployed.
Out of all 92 Indiana counties, Monroe County had the 32nd highest unemployment rate of 3.7% in August. Lake County had the highest August 2023 unemployment rate at 5.9%, while Daviess County had the lowest rate at 2.6%.
Additionally, the state’s labor force participation rate decreased slightly from 63.6% in July to 63.5% in August. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate is the percentage of the civilian population either working or actively looking for work. Indiana’s labor force participation rate is higher than the nationwide rate of 62.8%.
According to the DWD, the construction industry added 1,300 jobs in August. Bloomington’s construction industry has grown by 6.1% since August 2022.
The manufacturing sector added 400 Indiana jobs this past month. However, Bloomington’s manufacturing sector has experienced a 3.1% decrease in jobs since August 2022 following layoffs from local manufacturers. Cook Medical, a medical device manufacturer, announced in May it would cut 500 jobs, including 85 jobs in Bloomington, as part of a new strategic plan. In June, Catalent Inc., a pharmaceutical and health manufacturer, eliminated 150 jobs at their facility in Bloomington.
The DWD’s report reflects only preliminary estimates of employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these preliminary estimates measure the labor market a few weeks prior to its publication. These preliminary estimates are revised and checked before the following month’s release. The final estimates for a given month are published two months after the initial release of the preliminary estimates.
For more information on Indiana’s unemployment resources, visit https://www.in.gov/dwd/job-seekers/.