The U.S. Labor Department earlier this month issued its monthly report on hiring and employment for February, with the weakest numbers since September of 2017. According to the report, about 20,000 jobs were added last month, far below a gain of 175,000 jobs that economists had predicted. This number was also far below the January jobs gains of 311,000, and might be related to the governmental shutdown or might be a rebound from so many jobs the previous month, according to some experts. The national unemployment rate is at 4.0% for the month.
For Indiana, January figures were issued just last Friday, with the February numbers due later this month. The rate for January remains at 3.5%, well below the contiguous states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois where rates range from 4.0% to 4.7%. Employment figures were up by only 7613 for the month.
Indiana counties, all 92 strong, saw a rising unemployment rate for the month ranging from 0.4% up to 1.3%. Starke County experienced a rise of 1.0% after an adjustment to the December 2018 rate, finishing January at 5.5%. All counties in the state averaged a 0.8% increase from December to January.