Indiana’s unemployment rate took a sizable dip in February, falling to 8.4 percent, as new jobless claims dropped to a seven-year low.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning that initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to just below 5,000 for the second week in a row.
“The drop in the unemployment rate is good news, as is the decline in initial claims in unemployment insurance to levels not seen since 2005,” Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, said in a prepared statement. “We also continue to see Hoosiers return to the work force."
February’s jobless rate decreased from 8.7 percent in January and a revised 8.9 percent in December. The rate was 8.9 percent in February 2011.
Statewide non-farm employment totaled 2.9 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 280,960 Hoosiers remained out of work, down from 291,823 in January.
Private-sector job growth remained unchanged in February after a sizable gain of 13,000 jobs in January, the largest monthly increase in more than a year.
Sectors showing significant employment gains in February included private education and health services (5,300 jobs), manufacturing (2,400 jobs), and leisure and hospitality (2,400 jobs). The trade transportation and utilities sector lost 6,100 jobs and construction jobs fell by 3,200.
In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 8.2 percent in February, down from 8.7 percent in February 2011. In all, 73,291 people were out of work in the Indianapolis area.
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.