Each month, Hoosiers continue to see our unemployment rate fall. Right now, Indiana’s statewide unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, lower than the national average (4.4) and all four bordering states. Economists generally agree a rate below 5 percent indicates a strong economy. Recently, the Department of Workforce Development released local unemployment rates, and these promising numbers prove that Indiana is moving in the right direction.
This past April, Johnson County’s unemployment rate was 2.2 percent, down from 3.7 in April 2016. In Marion County, the unemployment rate went from 4.6 percent to 2.8, year-over-year.
It’s encouraging to see more Hoosiers working than ever before. By 2022, it is estimated there will be nearly 1 million additional jobs that need to be filled in Indiana. The General Assembly recently created a new law to ensure that Indiana continues to have a strong and growing workforce, by establishing Workforce Ready Grants for high-value occupational certificates.
These grants will cover any remaining costs after state and federal financial aid for students pursing a certification required in a high-demand, high-wage job. With this law, we hope to encourage non-traditional students to seek certified training or go back to college and complete their degree under the Adult Student Grant.
Along with these investments, this new state policy maintains that all workforce development programs are working together and their performance is being tracked. Overall, this focused approach provides Hoosiers with more immediate results, ensuring that our efforts are producing lasting and comprehensive improvements to Indiana’s workforce development system.
Nonetheless, there is still work to be done as we strive to make Indiana the ideal place to build a career, start a business and raise a family.
State Rep. David Frizzell
House District 93