The state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in June, sinking below 5 percent for the first time since February 2008, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Tuesday morning.
The jobless rate, which has fallen for three straight months, decreased from 5.1 percent in May and is down from 5.9 percent in June 2014.
Private sector employment in Indiana actually fell by 3,800 jobs in June, but was more than offset by a 7,700-job gain in total nonfarm employment, which includes public-sector jobs. Indiana’s private sector had been averaging monthly increases of about 4,000 jobs over the past two years.
The Trade, Transportation & Utilities sector shed 3,600 jobs during the month and the Private Educational & Health Services segment lost 900. Gains were seen in the Manufacturing (1,600) and Leisure and Hospitality (1,300) sectors.
Indiana’s labor force participation rate was 63.3 percent in June, better than the national average of 62.6 percent. The labor force participation rate measures the percentage of working-age persons who are either employed or unemployed and actively looking for a job.
About 158,000 people were looking for jobs in Indiana last month.
Indiana led the Midwest with the lowest unemployment rate in June, followed by Kentucky (5.1 percent), Ohio (5.2 percent), Michigan (5.5 percent), and Illinois (5.9 percent).
The national unemployment rate for June was 5.3 percent.
Payrolls increased in 31 states during the month and the unemployment rate fell in 21 states.
Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 2.6 percent, while West Virginia had the highest, at 7.4 percent.