Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped in March to 8.2 percent, its lowest level in more than three years.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning that the March rate decreased from 8.4 percent in February and 8.7 percent in January. The rate hasn’t been as low as 8.2 percent since December 2008.
“It’s good news that Indiana’s unemployment rate is on the way down,” Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, said in a prepared statement. “Indiana has seen steady job growth since the beginning of the year, with manufacturing leading the way, adding almost 8,000 jobs.”
Indiana's unemployment rate matches the national unemployment rate in March.
Statewide non-farm employment totaled 2.9 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 274,699 sought unemployment benefits in March, down from 280,916 in February.
The number of private-sector jobs in Indiana grew 5,300 last month. February job growth was unchanged after a sizable gain of 13,000 jobs in January, the largest monthly increase in more than a year.
Sectors showing employment gains in March included manufacturing (3,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (2,500 jobs), and financial activities (1,300 jobs). The professional and business services sector lost 2,500 jobs.
In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 8 percent in March, down from 8.5 percent in March 2011.
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.