State unemployment rate holds steady at 4 percent

March 13, 2017

Indiana’s unemployment rate remained at 4 percent in January, the state’s Department of Workforce Development said Monday.

The rate had been on a downward trajectory, sinking to 4 percent in December, down from 4.2 percent in November, 4.4 percent in October and 4.5 percent in September.

Indiana’s labor force —which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 7,162 workers in January, to more than 3.3 million, thanks to an increase of 6,344 in employment offset by small decrease of 818 in unemployment, the state said.

Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—dipped one-tenth of a point, to 64.2 percent, in January. It remains well above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

The state lost private-sector jobs for the second straight month, but private-sector employment has grown by more than 31,000 over the past year.

January saw the decline of 2,200 private-sector jobs, with losses in the sectors of Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-6,400), Leisure & Hospitality (-1,900) and Professional & Business Services (-1,500). Gains were seen in Construction (6,100) and Financial Activities (1,300).

Indiana’s unemployment rate in January was far lower than the rate in neighboring states Kentucky (5 percent), Ohio (5 percent), Michigan (5.2 percent) and Illinois (5.7 percent).

The national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January.

Employers boosted hiring in 13 U.S. states in January, while employment changed little in 36 states.

The Labor Department said Monday that Alaska is the only state to show a significant decline in jobs, shedding 2,100.

Nationwide, hiring picked up in January as employers added 238,000 jobs, a clear improvement over last year's average gains.

Unemployment rates fell in 5 states and were mostly stable in the other 45. The rates in Arkansas and Oregon fell to the lowest on records dating back to 1976.



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