The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Indiana dropped significantly in February, falling to 6.1 percent from 6.4 percent in January, the Department of Workforce Development announced Friday morning.
February’s drop marked the second straight big decline in the jobless rate. The rate in January fell four-tenths of a percentage point.
The state added 5,400 private-sector jobs February while the number of officially unemployed Hoosiers fell to fewer than 200,000 for the first time since August 2008, the state said.
The state said initial claims for unemployment insurance in February were nearly 5,000 below February 2013 levels and are at their lowest levels in nearly 15 years.
Employment sectors showing the biggest gains in February were leisure and hospitality with 2,200 jobs, and construction with 2,000 jobs.
Indiana’s unemployment rate is now more than one-half of a percentage point below the national rate (6.7 percent) for the first time in a decade. It has fallen from 7.9 percent a year ago.
The state’s rate in February was below the rates in Illinois (8.7 percent), Kentucky (7.8 percent), Michigan (7.7 percent) and Ohio (6.5 percent).
Non-seasonally-adjusted figures show unemployment in the Indianapolis-Carmel statistical area at 6.2 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in February 2014.