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Report: Madison County's Workforce Trends are Uneven

Andy Knight, The Herald Bulletin

March 23, 2023

ANDERSON — Data from a recent report by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development suggests that Madison County’s recovery from the economic turbulence of last year is continuing along an uneven path.

The county’s unemployment rate of 3.6% in January was up a full percentage point from the month prior, according to the department’s Labor Market Review, which tracks various labor force and wage trends across Indiana, including in a region comprised of Madison and eight other Central Indiana counties.

Driven by continued increases in prices for food and housing, real average hourly earnings for employees in Madison County’s region fell by 0.2%.

With the Fed raising interest rates another quarter point Wednesday, local economic development officials said most of the economic data being released this week — both nationally and locally — is trending mostly in a direction they’ve expected.

“The Consumer Price Index is still trending up in the Midwest, which means inflation is still very much an issue here,” said Rob Sparks, executive director of the Corporation for Economic Development in Madison County.

“When you look at unemployment, we have trended up, but so has everyone else. Some of that is construction jobs, when people may have shut some projects down during bad weather.”

Sparks noted that construction — by far — was the leading industry represented among the region’s new unemployment claims in January, with 22.7% of all those claims coming from construction workers.

Still, he said, broader trends in other industries including shipping and technology should eventually open demand for workers locally as companies dependent on those sectors continue to consider locating in Madison County.

“This is still a career path economy,” Sparks said. “This is a great time for young people thinking about those fields to be looking at those internships and thinking about what they want to do.”



Read below on community programs and development in Madison County.
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