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State unemployment holds steady at 5.7 percent

November 21, 2014

Indiana added 5,500 private-sector jobs in October with modest bumps in manufacturing employment and in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, the state’s Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning.

Even with the increase, Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held firm at 5.7 percent, unchanged from September. The DWD attributed the stasis to the addition of 14,000 people into the state’s labor force.

The state’s manufacturing sector added 2,500 jobs last month, and 3,300 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities industries. There were gains of 1,200 jobs in both the private educational and health services sector and for leisure and hospitality businesses.

Significant declines were felt in professional and business services (2,200) and construction (900).

The DWD said that Indiana has led the nation in manufacturing growth over the past year with an increase of more than 24,000 jobs.

The national unemployment rate for October stood at 5.8 percent, a dip of 1.4 percentage points since October of last year. That matched Indiana’s 1.4-percentage-point improvement over the same period.

Ohio led the Midwest with the lowest unemployment rate in October, at 5.3 percent—a dip of 0.3 percent from September—followed by Indiana, Kentucky (6.2 percent), Illinois (6.6 percent), and Michigan (7.1 percent).

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates fell in 34 U.S. states in October. Rates rose in just five states, the fewest since April. Rates were unchanged in 11 states.

Steady economic growth has prompted more companies to add jobs, though the additional hiring hasn't yet boosted wages. Nationwide, employers added 214,000 jobs in October, the ninth straight month of gains above 200,000. That's the longest such stretch since 1995. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent, a six-year low.

Georgia had the highest unemployment rate in October, at 7.7 percent, though that was down from 7.9 percent in September. North Dakota continued to have the lowest rate, at 2.8 percent.

Employers added jobs in 38 states and cut them in 12. The biggest gains occurred in California, which added 41,500; Texas, which gained 35,200; and Florida, which added 34,400.

Nevada reported the largest job loss, a decline of 7,300, followed by New York, where employers cut 5,600, and New Jersey, which lost 4,500.

On a regional basis, the Midwest reported the lowest unemployment rate, at 5.6 percent, followed by the Northeast at 5.9 percent. Unemployment in the South was 6 percent last month, and in the West, 6.5 percent.

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