Over the past year, Indiana’s unemployment rate declined two percent and Indiana’s work force has grown by nearly 47,000 over the past year, but yet the Work One office is buzzing with people.
Kerry Whitson knows this first hand, she’s been looking for a job since 2004 at the Works One office in Fort Wayne.
Whitson said, "I haven't been able to work in awhile, but when I was able to work I came here numerous times per week filling out applications and calling places.”
Whitson knows of some success stories but unfortunately she has not been one of them. She explained, "I haven’t seen real big success stories but like I said everybody's different it depends on who the person is whether they are applying for it and what kind of work they need."
John Kessler, an economist and lecturer at IPFW, explained that manufacturing jobs have seen the biggest increase with close to 75,000 since 2009. He said, "The data is true, unemployment rates have gone down over the last year. Indiana does have a lower unemployment rates than the national average so we’re doing really well and in the Fort Wayne area we are actually below the statewide average with five percent in Fort Wayne and the state is 5.9 percent."
A map from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the unemployment rates by state. The U.S. unemployment rate is 6.3% and every one of Indiana’s neighboring states, except Ohio, is above Indiana’s average.
Kessler said we have to be careful when looking at the data and what we’re doing to help those that are still looking. All the information that you see may not be the whole story.
"People drop out of the labor force they stop looking for work so that diminishes those in the labor force you can have employment rates actually decrease because not because more people have found a job but because people gave up looking,” said Kessler.
No matter the numbers, Whitson says the key for anyone looking for work: stay positive, and keep your options open.