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Indiana's unemployment rate falls to lowest mark since 2001

December 16, 2016

The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dipped two-tenths of a percentage point in November, to 4.2 percent—its lowest point since 2001, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday.

Private-sector employment in the state grew by 13,300 jobs during the month, the state said, and is up by 36,500 this year.

Indiana's labor force, which includes both Hoosiers who are employed and those seeking employment, has increased by 67,327 over the last year and by 161,290 since January 2013.

The state's labor force participation rate—the percentage of civilians 16 and over who are working or actively seeking work—stands at 64.7 percent, a full 2 percentage points above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

Monthly private-sector employment gains were seen in the categories of Professional & Business Services (8,300), Financial Activities (1,500), Manufacturing (1,400), Leisure & Hospitality (1,000) and Private Education & Health Services (800), among others. The only category to see a decline was Construction (-1,600).

Indiana had a lower unemployment rate than any of its neighboring states in November. Kentucky had a jobless rate of 4.8 percent, followed by Michigan and Ohio (4.9 percent) and Illinois (5.6 percent).

“November’s employment numbers reflect the successful policies and fiscal management that have been hallmarks of this administration over the last four years, including balanced budgets, low taxes and healthy reserves,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said in a written statement.

The U.S. Labor Department said unemployment rates fell sharply in 18 states and were little changed in 32 others.

Florida reported the largest overall job gain in November, adding 29,600 jobs, followed by Indiana, which gained 13,100, and South Carolina, with 12,500.

The largest drops in unemployment rates last month occurred in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Missouri, each of which saw a decline of 0.4 percentage points.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent last month, as employers added 178,000 jobs. But much of the drop occurred because more Americans stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.

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