|Governor Mike Pence|
In January of 2013, when Mike Pence took over as Governor, it was at 8.3 percent. It has continued to fall to its current rate of 4.9 percent. The federal unemployment rate has fallen in a similar fashion. It peaked in October of 2009 at 10 percent. Since then, it has trended downwards to its current rate of 5.3 percent.
Both Governor Pence and the Indiana General Assembly and President Barack Obama and the United States Congress deserve a tremendous amount of credit for enacting economic policies that have improved job prospects for citizens.
The point is that the downward trend has been significant, not limited to Indiana, and has taken place over time. It's not a new phenomenon.
Almost anything the Indiana General Assembly session this past year accomplished became overshadowed by the fight over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or RFRA. As you remember, the LGBT community and its allies fought back against this legislation. Eventually, the General Assembly brought in business leaders to help "fix" the legislation. Many feel that the fix didn't go far enough to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Hoosiers leaving this to be fought over in future General Assembly sessions. It's something to watch heading forward.
Perplexingly, Governor Pence cited the fixed RFRA legislation as one of the reasons why Indiana's unemployment rate is down. That ignores the trends, the effects of other legislation, and any input the Obama Administration might have had. Blaming RFRA for this lower rate sounds more like a personal justification for the legislation rather than something grounded in actual fact.
Honest to goodness, it just sounds more like the Governor is trying to find justification for bad legislation.