Indiana's unemployment rate rose for a fourth straight month in September, to a seasonally adjusted 8.9 percent, inching closer to the overall U.S. rate of 9.1 percent, the state’s Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning.
Indiana added 8,800 private-sector jobs in September, but the unemployment rate rose from the August mark of 8.7 percent as more Hoosiers returned to the labor force to look for work.
The number of unemployed Hoosiers was 266,477 in September, compared to 273,902 in August.
The state's unemployment rate has climbed from 8.2 percent in April, but is a full percentage point below the 9.9 percent it reached last September.
Employment sectors adding a significant amount of jobs were professional and business services, construction and leisure and hospitality. Employment in manufacturing and trade, as well as in transportation and utilities, showed large declines.
Indiana’s unemployment rate remains lower than its neighbors, but the gap closed somewhat in September. Ohio’s rate is 9.1 percent, Kentucky’s is 9.7 percent, Illinois’ is 10 percent and Michigan’s is 11.1 percent.
In the Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 8.1 percent in September, down from 8.6 percent in August 2010. Comparisons of metro areas are more accurately made using the same months in prior years because the government does not adjust the figures for factory furloughs and other seasonal fluctuations.
Meanwhile, the nation's unemployment rate in September remained at 9.1 percent for the third straight month.
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week ticked down 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 404,000, the Labor Department said on Oct. 13. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined for the third straight week to 408,000. That's the lowest average in eight weeks.
Still, applications are higher than they would be in a healthy economy. They need to fall consistently below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They haven't been below that level since February.