State unemployment rate shrinks to 4.7 percent

Keywords Unemployment

Private-sector employment in Indiana rose by 4,800 jobs in July, helping reduce the state’s unemployment rate to 4.7 percent, its lowest point in almost eight years.

The seasonally-adjusted rate fell from 4.9 percent in June and from 5.8 percent a year ago, according to a report issued Friday morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The DWD report said state employment grew to 3,043,800 in July, surpassing peak employment levels set in March 2000 by more than 2,000 jobs. The state has added nearly 292,000 private-sector jobs since July 2009, the low point of employment.

The biggest private-sector employment gains in July were seen in the Professional and Business Services sector, which added 6,100 jobs. The Private Educational & Health Services sector added 4,400 jobs and the Financial Activities sector added 1,500.

Indiana’s labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.5 percent in July, nearly one full percentage point above the national average. The labor force participation rate measures the percentage of working-age persons who are either employed or unemployed and actively looking for a job.

Indiana led the Midwest with the lowest unemployment rate in July, followed by Ohio (5 percent), Kentucky (5.2 percent), Michigan (5.3 percent) and Illinois (5.8 percent).

The national unemployment rate for July was 5.3 percent, unchanged from July.

Nonfarm payrolls increased in 34 states in July and decreased in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 2.7 percent, while West Virginia had the highest, at 7.5 percent.

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