Indiana’s unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in October, down from 7.8 percent the previous month, as the state added 6,600 private-sector jobs, the Department of Workforce Development announced Friday morning.
The manufacturing sector led employment gains by adding 3,600 jobs. Construction added another 1,700 workers.
Friday’s unemployment report is the first the state has released in more than two months due to the partial government shutdown. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate has been on a downward spiral, sinking from 8.4 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August, then falling to 7.8 percent in September.
Indiana began the year with an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent. The last time it fell below 8 percent was November 2008.
“Indiana’s unemployment rate is more than one percentage point below where it was in January, which is definitely significant,” said Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Scott Sanders in a prepared statement. “The steady private-sector job growth the Hoosier State has been experiencing for some time now is finally beginning to be reflected in the unemployment rate, which many businesses and individuals rely on to make important economic decisions.”
The report noted the number of unemployed Hoosiers has decreased by more than 27,000 over the past three months, while the labor force grew by 6,000.
October’s state employment total rose to 2,940,323, while the number of unemployed dropped to 222,840. The overall labor force was 3,163,163.
The Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area saw unemployment fall to 6.5 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, down from 7.4 percent in October 2012. Metro area figures are more reliable on a year-over-year basis due to seasonal fluctuations.
Indiana’s unemployment rate in October was the same as Ohio’s, lower than the rates in Michigan (9.0 percent) and Kentucky (8.4 percent), but higher than the national rate (7.3 percent). Illinois did not release October numbers.