Updated: Tuesday, 27 Jan 2009, 8:17 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 27 Jan 2009, 8:17 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - State unemployment rates came out Tuesday and Indiana is leading the pack, but not in a good way. The labor department said Indiana and South Carolina racked up the largest monthly increases.
The state's unemployment rate rose from 7.1 to 8.2 percent last
Layoffs at Cummins and other cuts in construction and retail are being blamed. At the Department of Workforce Development, they're hoping that as one job door closes, another will open for Hoosiers.
"Well, the first thing that any Hoosier who should become newly unemployed should do is they should go online. Whether that be at home, or the public library, or church, or one of our Work One centers -- watch the online tutorial and then sit there online and apply for unemployment benefits right there online," suggested Marc Lotter of the Department of Workforce Development.
The economy is even affecting pawn shops, a business often seen as recession-proof.
"This year it's kind of slowed down but I'm hoping that tax refunds will help us out. It usually does every year," said Tom Stout of Pawn Mart.
People are still pawning family treasures like expensive watches, but Stout said more of them are coming in from more affluent areas such as Carmel, Westfield, Noblesville. As more items come in, it's a buyer's market for guys like Larry Merriman.
"I had a heart attack, so it's kind of hard for me to shovel, so I went shopping for a snow blower and found one pretty cheap at the pawn shop," said Merriman.
Despite the conditions, Stout remains mostly optimistic.
"Hopefully it'll get better. Pawn shops have been around for thousands of years and we'll still be here," said Stout.
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