State’s unemployment rate holds steady at 8 percent

After falling the two previous months, Indiana’s unemployment rate held steady at 8 percent in November.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning that the rate was unchanged from October. The rate was 9.1 percent in November 2011.

The state shed 9,800 private-sector jobs last month, mainly due to losses in the construction industry, the department said.

“While November’s news is not characteristic of what Indiana has experienced lately, we continue to significantly outpace the national average of job growth over the past year,” Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Scott B. Sanders said in a written statement.

Even taking into account the recent losses, Indiana still has added more than 52,000 jobs within the past year and nearly 144,000 since July 2009, the low point of employment during the recession, Sander said.

The November rate was higher than the national rate of 7.7 percent, but lower than all neighboring states except for Ohio, which saw unemployment fall to 6.8 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 November totaled 3.1 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 251,581 people sought unemployment benefits, up from a revised 234,759 in October.

In the Indianapolis metro area, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.6 percent in November, down from 8.1 percent in November 2011. However, the area lost jobs, dropping to 886,300 in November from 892,449 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.

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