Indiana’s unemployment rate has declined for the third straight month, dropping to 9.5 percent in December, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Tuesday morning.
The state’s unemployment rate hasn’t been as low as 9.5 percent since February 2009.
Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in November, 9.9 percent in October and 10.1 percent in September. The state’s jobless rate topped out at 10.2 percent last year in both July and August.
“Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in almost two years,” DWD Commissioner Mark W. Everson said in a prepared statement. “Over the course of 2010, we saw growth in manufacturing, and in professional and business services, partially offset by declines in construction.”
Despite the decline in the jobless rate, Indiana lost 9,100 private-sector jobs in December, the report said. Overall, however, the state gained 36,400 private-sector jobs in 2010.
Sectors with job growth included manufacturing, private education, and health services and financial activities.
Sectors with declines included construction, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.
The national unemployment rate in December was 9.4 percent, down from 9.8 percent the previous month.
In the Midwest, only Kentucky reported an increase in unemployment in December. Illinois’ rate is 9.3 percent, followed by Ohio at 9.6 percent, Kentucky at 10.3 percent and Michigan at 11.7 percent.
The number of unemployed Hoosiers fell to 284,453 in December, from a revised 295,438 in November.
In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 8.4 percent in December, down from 8.7 percent in November but the same as the 8.4 percent rate in December 2009.
Comparisons of metro areas are most accurately made using the same months in prior years, because the government does not adjust the figures for factory furloughs and other seasonal fluctuations.