COVID-19 Updated Market Insights for Indianapolis

Indianapolis – Significant Job Losses were Not as Bad as Some Midwest Metros  

Indianapolis lost 118,600 jobs, or 10.9%., year over year according to the April results from the Bureau of Labor StatisticsThis rate of decline ranked 33rd of 82 metros and better than most Midwest metros — Cleveland (-16.8%), Cincinnati (-14.8%), Detroit (-24.5%), Chicago (-12.8%), Columbus (-12.7%), and St. Louis (-11.5%)Only Kansas City (-10.6%) saw fewer job losses. Indianapolis’s unemployment rate climbed to 13.3% which ranked 45th of 82 metrosbetter than Chicago’s 17.6% but not as low as Minneapolis (9.2%). The metro average was 14.4%. Note, however, these numbers are preliminary and subject to change in the next two months. 


Looking for additional insights? Explore our interactive COVID-19 map to analyze the potential impact on commercial real estate markets.


Of Indianapolis’s job losses, 37.2% or 44,200 jobs were in the leisure and hospitality sector. This equates to a rate of decline of 39.7%. The retail sector shed another 4,200 jobs, a decline of 4.1%. Netting out these two sectors puts the remaining year-over-year rate of job decline at 8.1% which ranked 48th of 82 metros, close to its Midwest peers and on par with the metro average net decline of 8.2% 

Indianapolis’s office sector shed 16,500 jobs year over year, which was a rate of decline of 6.5%. This ranked 39th of 82 metros and was close to the decline in office jobs in Chicago (-6.6%) and most of other Midwest metros. The metro average office year-over-year decline was also 6.6% while the national rate of decline was 7.2% (through April). 

Indianapolis also lost 11,700 jobs (-12.5%) manufacturing jobs year over year in April. In late 2019, engine manufacturer, Cummins announced they would cut 2,000 salaried positions in the U.S. It was not said where the layoffs would occur but the company of 62,600 employees, includes about 10,000 in Indiana.  

To put these jobs in perspective, Indianapolis’s seasonally adjusted job gain over the last expansion was 192,900 jobs, a growth rate of 21.3%. The recent seasonally adjusted loss of jobs accounted for 68% of the gains in the recent expansion.  This ratio ranked 29th of 82 metros and better than nearly every Midwest metro. For the national average the recent loss represents a decline of 94% of the net gain during the expansion, while the metro average decline was 83% of the net expansion gain. 

The good news is that coronavirus cases are on the decline in Indianapolis as of early June, and they had been lower than most Midwest states and metrosStill, the outlook remains mixed: some hospitality, leisure and retail jobs will return when the economy re-opens, but many retail stores and restaurants will struggle to open given social distancing requirements as well as the growth in e-commerce. Moreover, a number of small companies have kept all staff on the payroll because they were incentivized by the Payroll Protection Program. If the PPP program is not renewed in July, many companies face layoffs and job declines will continue. 


You may also find our website dedicated to COVID-19 to be helpful during this time. Visit for our latest research and views on the credit and economic impact of COVID-19. This site brings together insights from across Moody’s to help you better understand the financial implications of the outbreak