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Molly Manns
Indiana Business Research Center

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2008

Labor Day in Indiana by the numbers

Statistics from the Indiana Business Research Center

Aug. 28, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Just in time for Labor Day this Monday (Sept. 1), the Indiana Business Research Center in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has offered some statistics about the Indiana work force. Additional information and charts will be available on the center's Web site at

Increased Work Force

Indiana is once again approaching the 3 million job mark. Keep in mind that jobs are by place of work and people can hold multiple jobs. Certain regions in Indiana, such as Michiana and the Evansville area, continue to attract people from surrounding states to jobs here in Indiana.

Increased Labor Force

Since the 1990s, the number of Hoosiers working and the number seeking work (unemployed) have increased substantially. Together, those two items total the labor force. A large and growing labor force is viewed positively by business, even if (or perhaps especially if) the number of unemployed is growing, as this situation equates to a large pool of workers to choose from for a new or expanding business.


  • 3.1 million Hoosiers were in the labor force as of July. There were 2.97 million payroll jobs in Indiana.
  • There are 610,000 sole proprietors (people who own their own business) in Indiana -- an all time-high.
  • The people most in demand at this moment are nurses. Projections from 2004 to 2014 indicate that Indiana's Economic Growth Regions 8 and 9 -- which together consist of 18 counties in south central and southeastern Indiana -- will see increases exceeding 30 percent. Region 7 -- which consists of six counties in western Indiana (including Vigo County) -- will post the smallest increase: a still-healthy 23 percent growth.
  • According to the IBRC and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the skills most often demanded by employers are reading comprehension, active listening and critical thinking.

The Indiana Business Research Center is part of a national network of State Data Centers and acts as the official state representative to the Census Bureau on matters relating to the census and population estimates. The IBRC also develops and maintains STATS Indiana, the award winning, state-supported Web service (