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Area unemployment rate drops slightly in July

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Unemployment rates in Johnson County and throughout central Indiana dropped in July.

In Johnson County, the unemployment rate fell from 7.2 percent in June to 6.8 percent in July, according to a report from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. This compares to a local jobless rate of 6.9 percent in July 2012.

The rate dropped across central Indiana last month, said Kyle Anderson, assistant professor of economics at IUPUI.

“The state as a whole seems to be struggling, but central Indiana seems to be doing better,” Anderson said.

Employment has grown in the area for multiple reasons, including the local economy’s lack of dependence on jobs in industries still weak after the recession, such as manufacturing, he said.

Business is picking up for multiple industries in central Indiana, pushing organizations to hire, he said. The health care and education sectors are particularly strong right now, Anderson said.

Statewide, the unemployment rate stayed the same from June to July at 8.4 percent and was nearly the same as this time last year, when the rate was 8.2 percent. The construction and manufacturing industries lost jobs in the state, but trade, transportation, utilities and professional and business services sectors gained jobs, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Jobs have been added in the state, but unemployment has stayed steady because people who temporarily gave up looking for work are again trying to get jobs, according to Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center.

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