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Indiana PYs 2020-2023 Published Approved

Located in:
  • II. Strategic Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system.  The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs to support economic growth.  Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. 

II. a. 1. B. Workforce Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the current workforce, including individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in section 3 of WIOA4.  This population must include individuals with disabilities among other groupsin the State and across regions identified by the State.  This includes—

[4] Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.

[5] Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth, and others that the State may identify.

  • i. Employment and Unemployment

    Provide an analysis of current employment and unemployment data, including labor force participation rates, and trends in the State.

  • ii. Labor Market Trends

    Provide an analysis of key labor market trends, including across existing industries and occupations.

  • iii. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

    Provide an analysis of the educational and skill levels of the workforce.

  • iv. Skill Gaps

    Describe apparent ‘skill gaps’.

Current Narrative:

(B) Workforce Analysis. The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the current workforce, including individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in section 3 of WIOA. This population must include individuals with disabilities among other groups in the State and across regions identified by the State. This includes: —

(i) Employment and Unemployment. Provide an analysis of current employment and unemployment data and trends in the State.                                

(ii) Labor Market Trends. Provide an analysis of key labor market trends, including across existing industries and occupations.                                   

(iii) Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce. Provide an analysis of the educational and skill levels of the workforce.               

(iv) Describe apparent ‘skill gaps.’

Employment and Wages: The 2018 average annual employment level in Indiana was 2,659,198 for private employment and 3,051,954 for all industries. This employment level is up 12.8% since the depths of the Great Recession. Average weekly wages have risen to $915 for all industries. The graph below shows Indiana’s employment and wages from 2004 through 2018. This information from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program shows that both Indiana’s total employment and wages have both been steadily increasing.

QCEW Annual Employment and Weekly Wages


Average annual/weekly wages are affected by the ratio of full-time to part-time workers, as well as the number of individuals in high-paying versus low-paying occupations. The chart presented on the following pages shows the historical annual averages from 2004-2018 with 2018 showing a 3.1% increase from 2017. Over this time, several sectors experienced a more dramatic percentage change while other sectors were modest in their increase. The highest increases were IT wages increasing by 27.6% and Healthcare and Social Services increasing 25%. Other industries with healthy wage increases included Real Estate and Rental & Leasing at 21.2% and Finance & Insurance and Accommodation & Food Services both at 18.5%, and Administrative Support and Waste Services at 18.1%. The slowest wage increases from 2013-2018 were in Manufacturing (11.1%), Construction (9.1%), and Mining (4.7%).[1] Deeper analysis of job growth and wage gains, as shown in the chart below, shows that nearly every industry sector saw employment and wage gains throughout 2018:

2018 Employment and Wages by Sector

 Estab.JobsOTY Job Chg.OTY % Chg.Avg. WageOTY Avg.   Wage Chg.OTY Avg. Wage   % Chg.
Total Employment167,6273,051,87933,7021.12%$47,590 $1,398 3.03%
Total Private Employment162,0272,659,13031,7401.21%$47,867 $1,443 3.11%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunt1,89415,293-36-0.23%$40,108 $1,777 4.64%
  Mining3235,9432003.48%$70,468 ($653)-0.92%
  Construction15,176141,0282,9882.16%$58,404 $1,305 2.29%
  Manufacturing8,827541,83610,5241.98%$62,680 $1,562 2.56%
  Wholesale Trade13,943120,7781,4901.25%$68,434 $2,497 3.79%
  Retail Trade20,424321,193-11,871-3.56%$28,001 $595 2.17%
  Transport. and Warehousing6,620153,43513,0709.31%$46,898 $1,225 2.68%
  Utilities52415,8541641.04%$93,017 $3,169 3.53%
  Information2,39835,712-2,005-5.32%$53,885 $450 0.84%
  Finance and Insurance10,08697,8738320.86%$72,334 $3,114 4.50%
  Real Estate, Rental, Leasing6,53635,8751,0032.88%$45,731 $1,744 3.96%
  Professional and Tech. Servs.18,831119,9704,8714.23%$69,696 $2,046 3.02%
  Mgmt. of Companies1,29234,339-144-0.42%$99,958 $1,909 1.95%
  Admin. and Waste Services9,716189,2681,4970.80%$33,004 $1,175 3.69%
  Educational Services3,232250,0406920.28%$42,186 $543 1.30%
  Health Care and Social Assistance13,894439,2886,5711.52%$49,214 $952 1.97%
  Arts, Entertain., and Recreation2,31343,9206541.51%$33,682 $1,179 3.63%
  Accommodation and Food Service13,315269,0201,1960.45%$16,632 $666 4.17%
  Other Services13,13988,2691,1521.32%$32,912 $1,004 3.15%
Federal, State, & Local Govt.2,804130,5951,2280.95%$48,103 $1,719 3.71%

Unemployment Rates and Labor Force Participation: Since 2014, Indiana’s unemployment rate has remained below the national rate. In October 2019, Indiana reported an unemployment rate of 3.2%, which is lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.6%.[2] Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped from a 10 year peak of 10.4% in 2010 to 3.4% in 2018. Unemployment rates continued to fall statewide in 2018, with the lowest unemployment levels in Economic Growth Region 5 at 3.0% and Regions 2, 3, and 11 tied with 3.1% unemployment. 2018 estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) indicate growing private sector employment and falling unemployment. Indiana's 2018 labor force increased by 43,662 from January 2018 to January 2019. The Labor Force has gained 152,152 individuals since January 2015. Indiana’s 2018 annual labor force stands at 3,381,233. From January 2018 to January 2019, Indiana’s Total Non-Farm employment grew by 38,900 and the private sector employment grew by 39,100. Key growth sectors over the past year include Private Educational and Health services which gained 16,200, Construction which gained 10,100, and Manufacturing which gained 5,500 jobs over that time.


Indiana EGRs, Labor Force and Unemployment, 2018

According to the latest US Census data, Indiana’s total population is estimated to be 6,691,878.[3]  To disaggregate the labor force by race among the total population:

  • Individuals who are Caucasian represent 85.1% (5,694,788 individuals);
  • Those who are black or African-American represent 9.8% (655,804 individuals);
  • Hispanic and Latino persons represent 7.1% (475,123 individuals); and
  • Those who identify as two or more races represent 2.1% individuals (140,529 persons).[4]

Thechart shows the percentage of unemployment claims in Indiana by industry sector since 2009. The manufacturing and construction industries have historically have been leading industries with unemployment claims. This is still true, but in the post-recession era construction has surpassed manufacturing. From 2009-2018 manufacturing accounted for over almost a fourth of all claims, and in 2018 stood at 24%. Construction from 2009-2016 was at 18% but for 2018 alone it had risen to 24% of all claims.[5] The seasonal nature of construction-based employment may be a reason for this shift.

Indiana 2009-2018 Claims by Industry

As the decade continued to progress, the growing citizenship in Indiana has increased by 3.2% between 2010 and July 1, 2018. This positive growth in the population alone is not enough to fulfill the labor force needs of the state. Indiana’s labor participation rate is 64.4%, which is higher than the U.S. labor force participation rate of 63.3%.[6] While these data points are important, Indiana must still meet the challenge of filling one millions jobs over the next 10 years. As previously reported, 700,000 workers will need to be replaced during that 10 year timeline. A majority of those within this category will be retirees. The remaining 300,000 projected job needs will stem from new job growth. We must find ways to continue to increase awareness for occupational opportunities and the education and training necessary to develop the skills needed as our economy changes. Creating awareness and access will help increase our labor force participation rate. While better than the national average, we can work with Hoosier citizens that are disconnected from the workforce to transition them to employment. Additionally, we can create more opportunities for employers to engage with alternative talent pipelines. One such example is Indiana’s focus on providing education and training opportunities for the state’s prison population and better serving individuals with disabilities to provide greater access to the skills necessary for employment in a 21st Century economy. Creating opportunities for these populations to be included in the talent pool, is one priority outlined throughout the state plan.

Indiana & US Labor Force, 2009-2018


Education and Skill Level: Indiana has set a lofty goal for at least 60% of all working age Hoosiers to have a quality credential beyond high school by 2025. This goal aligns with the changing needs of Indiana’s workforce and technological changes that are impacting every industry sector. According to Lumina’s, A Stronger Nation, Indiana has made progress toward our postsecondary attainment goal (43.4%), but we still lag behind the nation average (47.6%). The report utilizes a combination of attainment rates as reported through the US Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) and an estimate for the number of high-value postsecondary certificates that may be less than an associate’s degree. As illustrated below,the education attainment for Indiana’s residents ages 25 through 64.[7]


Indiana education levels


In 2017, 63% of high school graduates enrolled directly in some type of postsecondary program. This number has declined slightly in recent years, and may be due to the number of job vacancies as a result of Indiana’s strong economy. Regardless of the reason, Indiana will continue to provide career coaching and navigation to students and adults on the significant benefits to obtaining a quality credential beyond high school. Additionally, Indiana’s new Graduation Pathways, as well as a better aligned Career and Technical Education program, will offer students more opportunities to earn quality credentials prior to high school graduation. This alignment paired with the state’s strong community college and university system, ensure that regardless of where an individual is in their career and learning continuum, that there options to advance one’s education and career.

One area of focus highlighted throughout the Plan is to better serve those individuals without a high school diploma. This population represents an opportunity for individuals and employers alike to meet the talent needs of the changing economy. In Indiana, over 460,000 individuals, ages 18-64, do not have a high school diploma or high school equivalency. While the total number of individuals without a high school diploma are located in metropolitan cities, such as Indianapolis, Gary, and Fort Wayne, it is often the case that the percentage of individuals without a high school diploma is much higher in rural communities. For instance, in Daviess County, over 25% of Hoosiers do not hold a high school diploma. The map below shows how our population without a high school diploma is distributed throughout the state. Better integration between the workforce development system, adult education, career and technical education, postsecondary education, community-based organizations, and our employer community are needed to help connect these individuals to the education and training and supports necessary for career advancement.

Adults without a high school diploma or HSE

Our biggest skills gap continues to be our lagging educational attainment rate. Improvement in this area will not only impact an individual's ability to access higher wage opportunities, but it will enable opportunities for economic growth and higher-skilled positions within every sector of the state's economy. One role the GWC plays in the talent development system is to better understand how the education system, economic development, workforce, and social service system can be better aligned. Through the convening power of the GWC and the Governor’s focus on finding solutions to the workforce issues of today and tomorrow, we can improve the education and skill attainment for all Hoosiers. By pulling together partner programs (SNAP, TANF, K-12, postsecondary, CTE, WIOA, AE, corrections, etc.), the GWC can help coordinate education, training, and employment service programs to ensure that all Hoosiers are accessing programs that continue to provide them with opportunities for advancement. 

[1] Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Indiana Economic Analysis Report.

[2] Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 2019. October 2019 Employment Briefing.

[3] United States Census Bureau, 2019. Quick Facts: Indiana.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Indiana Department of Workforce Development: Indiana Economic Analysis Report.

[6] Indiana Department of Workforce Development. October 2019 Employment Briefing.

[7] Lumina Foundation, 2019. A Stronger Nation.