Indiana officials are disputing federal numbers showing that the state's unemployment rate jumped in January.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' report shows Indiana's jobless rate rose to 8.6 percent in January, up from 8.3 percent in December because of a spike in the number of residents who renewed their search for work. The unemployment rate counts residents who are actively seeking work and does not include every resident who is out of work.
The federal report shows Indiana added 8,200 jobs in January while the size of the workforce grew by 14,000. The growth in job seekers was the largest since 1993.
But state Workforce Development Commissioner Scott Sanders says the federal report used a new and inaccurate formula that shows Indiana's unemployment rate higher than it actually is.
Ind. Governor Mike Pence issued a statement after the jobless numbers were released saying:
"While every Hoosier can be encouraged by the news that Indiana added 8,200 private sector jobs in January, our state's unemployment rate is too high. As I have seen in my travels across the state, despite the progress we have made, our economy is still struggling. In light of today's news, we have no choice but to remain bold in our efforts to strengthen our economy and put Hoosiers back to work."
Gov. Pence also commented on how to potentially resolve the problem, "We must enact a budget that holds the line on spending, funds our priorities, protects our reserves and allows hardworking Hoosiers and small business owners to keep more of what they earn. By maintaining our commitment to fiscal responsibility, reducing taxes, cutting red tape, and investing in workforce innovation, Indiana can and will stem the tide of unemployment and put Hoosiers struggling in this economy back to work."