Indiana’s unemployment rate fell for the second straight month in October, to 8 percent.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Tuesday morning that the rate decreased from 8.2 percent in September and 8.3 percent in August. The rate was 9.1 percent in October 2011.
The state added 7,700 private-sector jobs in October, marking the largest monthly gain since May, the department said.
“Over the past year Indiana has experienced one of the strongest periods of job growth in over a decade,” DWD Commissioner Scott B. Sanders said. “Since last October, we have added nearly 67,000 private-sector jobs and continue to significantly outpace the national rate of growth.”
The October rate was higher than the national rate of 7.9 percent, but lower than all neighboring states except for Ohio, which saw unemployment fall to 6.9 percent.
Indiana’s jobless rate has been at 8 percent or above in all but two months since December 2008.
Statewide non-farm employment in October totaled just under 3.2 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 234,740 people sought unemployment benefits, down from a revised 237,319 in September.
Job sectors showing employment gains in October included leisure and hospitality (5,200), manufacturing (3,100), and trade, transportation and utilities (2,200).
Sectors showing the biggest employment loss were professional and business services (-1,500) and financial activities (-1,100).
In the Indianapolis metro area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.1 percent in October, down from 8.4 percent in October 2011. However, the area lost jobs, dropping to 891,506 in October from 910,709 a year earlier.
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.