The state added 1,700 private-sector jobs in February and its unemployment rate ticked down to 5.9 percent, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday morning.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate returned to where it was in November and December after rising one-tenth of a percentage point in January, to 6 percent, despite the addition 8,600 private-sector jobs during the month.
Indiana has seen private-sector job growth in 20 of the past 25 months, the DWD said, and private-sector employment has grown by 98,700 over the past two years.
The state added 2,500 jobs in the educational and health services sector in February, the DWD said. The leisure and hospitality (2,200 jobs), manufacturing (600) and construction (500) sectors also saw gains.
The biggest decline was seen in the professional and business services sector, which lost 2,000 jobs.
Indiana’s unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent a year ago.
Indiana’s labor-force-participation rate drooped in January, by 0.1 percentage points, to 62.8 percent. It continues to be a full percentage point higher than the national average.
Ohio led the Midwest with the lowest unemployment rate in February, at 5.1 percent, followed by Kentucky (5.2 percent), Indiana and Michigan (5.9 percent) and Illinois (6 percent).
The national unemployment rate for February was 5.5 percent.