By Joe DiSipio
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics captures the sharp increase of joblessness as the Great Recession hit hard in 2009. But it also shows that despite political rhetoric, Indiana may have reached a level of recovery under President Obama.
Much of the 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric centered on the economy, specifically on the creation of jobs in the industrial Midwest.
Jobs were an issue of particular interest to voters in Indiana. At the height of the Great Recession, unemployment levels reached a high of 10.9 percent in June 2009.
Compared to the BLS national averages, Indiana started at a lower level but once the effects of the crisis set in, it averaged an unemployment rate of almost a full percentage point higher than that of the country as a whole.
Voters didn’t forget that feeling of desperation between 2009 and 2014. The “America First” candidate Donald Trump was able to capitalize on that lingering feeling while the data shows that Indiana unemployment levels actually fell to below 2009 rates by the end of President Obama’s term.
Trump based some of his candidacy on bringing back jobs. He followed through with his controversial Carrier deal during the transition in November 2016.