Indiana unemployment steady despite lagging economy 

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The Indiana Department of Workforce Development revealed that 7,700 private sector jobs were created in May and the unemployment rate remained at 7.9 percent, below the nation's 8.2 percent average.

Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at Ball State University, says Indiana's economy is consistently improving despite a lagging world economy.

"Once again, businesses in Indiana are making hay while the sun shines. May's job growth numbers are again astonishing when placed against a backdrop of the rapidly slowing world economy," Hicks said.

Indiana contributed almost 10 percent of the total U.S employment increase in May, according to the Department of Workforce Development. Changes in Hoosier housing costs parallel the state's economic performance. Last year, the number of houses sold in Indiana increased for the first time since 2006 and the median sales price climbed for the second consecutive year.

"Despite this continued bout of good news in Indiana, it is clear that the world is edging into a recession," Hicks said. "While Indiana is clearly in a stronger position, we cannot avoid some of the pain of vastly slower growth nationally and internationally in the months ahead."

Indiana's foreclosure rate is still too high, but the amount of homes in the later stages of mortgage delinquency has recently declined. The national median household net worth declined 35 percent between 2005 and 2010, from $102,844 to $66,740 (in 2010 constant dollars), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"The overall decline in net worth reflects drops in housing values and stock market indices," Alfred Gottschalck, Census Bureau economist, said.

A higher level of education means a higher net worth. In 2010, those with a graduate or professional degree had a median net worth of $245,763, while those with only a high school diploma had a net worth of $42,223. Those with a bachelor's degree had a median net worth of $142,518.

In 2000, those with a bachelor's degree had a median net worth value almost twice as large as those with a high school diploma only. By 2010, that number had risen to almost 3.5 times as large.

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