More Jobs in Services Lead to Record April Employment

Employment in Indiana rose to 3 million jobs in April, a new record for the month. Non-farm employment was up 1% from April 1999 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

The year-to-year increase occurred mainly in two sectors: services and manufacturing. Employment in services industries increased by 10,500 jobs, counting part-time positions. The category known as business services, which includes computer software companies as well as building maintenance firms, added 3,400 jobs. Health services were up by nearly 2,000. (All data are non-seasonally adjusted.)

Manufacturing employment continued to be strong in Indiana. Compared to the same month a year ago, there were 3,000 more manufacturing jobs in the state. Transportation equipment manufacturing expanded 4%, representing a net increase of 4,800 jobs. The chemicals industry added 1,000 jobs. Other manufacturing sectors showed slight declines. Primary metal industries accounted for 1,700 fewer jobs this year, and jobs in industrial machinery manufacturing were down by 1,000.

Retail and wholesale trade employment rose by 2,800 jobs, mostly in durable goods wholesaling. Restaurant jobs, on the other hand, were down almost 4,000 after peaking last year. Still, restaurant employment was 1.1% higher than two years ago.

Employment with the federal government jumped by 6,000 jobs from April of last year. Much of that increase is attributable to the hiring of temporary workers for the census.

Indiana's Different Mix

The steady increases in manufacturing employment have given Indiana a different economic mix from the U.S. average (see Figure 2).

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Figure 2

The nation as a whole is heavier in the services industries, while Indiana is heavier in manufacturing. This distinction holds true for most sub-categories of services and manufacturing, although the share of employment in health services is the same in Indiana as in the rest of the country.

As with most states in the Midwest, Indiana has been near full employment and has therefore had slower job growth than the nation over the past three years. Indiana's employment was up 4.9%, while the nation's employment grew 7.7%. Indiana outpaced the national average, though, in manufacturing growth (see Figure 3). The number of manufacturing jobs in Indiana increased 2.1% in the three years, while the nation registered a small decline.

Figure 3

Transportation equipment manufacturing contributed much of the difference, growing by 15.3% in Indiana but by only 2.2% nationwide. Chemical production employment rose by 6.7% in Indiana and fell slightly in the United States. Indiana took a different path in construction employment too, as that industry grew 7.1% in this state but jumped 18.9% nationally. State government employment marched up 3.7% in the country as a whole but increased only moderately in Indiana (1.9%). In most other industries, Indiana's employment mix is very similar to the U.S. average.