State unemployment rate slides to eight-year low

Keywords Economy / Government

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in eight years in August despite the loss of 5,500 private-sector jobs, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Friday morning.

Last month’s seasonally-adjusted rate fell to 4.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent in July and 5.8 percent in August 2014.

Total nonfarm employment increased in Indiana in August by 6,700 jobs, but the private sector shed 4,900 jobs in the Professional & Business Services sector, 900 jobs in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities segment and 900 jobs in Private Educational & Health Services.

Gains were seen in the Leisure and Hospitality sector (2,700), Construction (1,300), and Manufacturing (300).

Indiana’s labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.6 percent in July, a 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 August, followed by Ohio (4.7 percent), Michigan (5.1 percent), Kentucky (5.2 percent), and Illinois (5.6 percent).

The national unemployment rate for August was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in July and the lowest rate since April 2008.

Payrolls rose in 32 states in August and the jobless rate fell in 29 states.

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