Indiana’s unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in December even though the state added 8,300 private-sector jobs during the month.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning that the rate increased from 8.0 percent in November, as more than 7,000 unemployed Hoosiers resumed looking for work.
Overall, Indiana added 54,000 jobs in 2012, the best year in more than a decade, the state said, and private-sector employment rose to nearly 97 percent of pre-recession levels.
“As evidenced by our December employment numbers, Indiana experienced an exceptional year of job growth in 2012,” DWD Commissioner Scott B. Sanders said in a prepared statement. “The Hoosier state has increased private-sector employment by nearly 157,000 since July 2009, the low point of employment in our state, and has been a national leader in job growth during that period.”
Statewide non-farm employment in December totaled 3.1 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 267,046 people sought unemployment benefits, up from a revised 252,037 in November.
Indiana's December unemployment rate was higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent. In the Midwest, it was higher than the rate in Kentucky and Ohio, but lower than Illinois and Michigan.
Indiana’s jobless rate has been at 8 percent or above in all but two months since December 2008.
Job sectors showing gains in December were construction (4,300), leisure and hospitality (2,000), professional and business services (1,900) and financial activities (1,400).
The private educational and health services sector lost 700 jobs last month, the state said.
In the Indianapolis metro area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 8 percent in December, down from 8.2 percent in December 2011. However, the area lost jobs, dropping to 889,966 in December from 902,158 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.