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Indiana Loses Jobs, Labor Force Shrinks In 2019

Brandon Smith

Indiana finished 2019 with an unemployment rate at 3.2 percent – the fourth month in a row it’s been at that level.

That 3.2 percent unemployment rate has been the same since September. And the rate has only gotten worse in one month over the last year and a half.

But the state lost more than 3,200 jobs total in 2019. Hardest hit was the manufacturing sector, which shed 9,000 jobs. The sector with the largest share of job growth was the construction industry, while the government added more jobs in Indiana last year than any other sector.

Indiana’s labor force numbers were also troubling in 2019. The labor measures not just people who have a job but also those actively looking for one. That means a shrinking labor force can be viewed as a sign of pessimism in the economy. And Indiana’s labor force shrank by nearly 14,000 people last year.

Contact Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.