The U.S. unemployment rate is currently 4.4%, nearly its lowest point in a decade. While the unemployment rate reflects the millions of Americans who are out of work and actively seeking employment, the measure does not fully capture the degree to which Americans are unable to find the jobs they want.
In addition to those seven million Americans captured by the traditional unemployment rate, there are millions more who are working part-time jobs because they could not find full-time employment, as well a large share of workers who have recently given up on their job search altogether and are now marginally attached to the workforce.
> Underemployment rate: 7.7%
> June unemployment rate: 3.0% (tied –6th lowest)
> Average wage: $44,594 (14th lowest)
> Labor force growth: 1.7% (12th largest increase)
Some 7.7% of Indiana’s workforce are underemployed. Still the state’s job market is healthier than that of most states and the nation’s as a whole. The number of jobs in Indiana climbed 2.1% last year, outpacing the 1.7% nationwide growth.
In a break from the broader national trend, Indiana’s durable goods manufacturing sector was a boon to the state economy in 2016. Some 12.2% of the state’s labor force works in the sector, the largest such share of any state in the country. Major manufacturers in the state include Rolls Royce, Raytheon, and Toyota.
The underemployment rate — a combination of unemployed job seekers, discouraged and other marginally attached workers, and people settling for part-time jobs as a share of the labor force — is a more comprehensive measure of labor underutilization, and this measure varies considerably across the country.
To determine the easiest and hardest states to find full-time work, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed underemployment rates in all 50 states with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The underemployment rate ranges from below 7% in some states to over 11% in others.