Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in March—its lowest mark since 2001, the state’s Department of Workforce Development said Friday.
The rate had been at 4.1 percent in February after rising from 4 percent in January. The rate was as high as 4.5 percent in September.
Indiana’s labor force —which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 6,093 workers in March, to more than 3.32 million, thanks to an increase of 12,322 in employment and 6,229 decrease 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—rose one-tenth of a point, to 64.5 percent, in March. It remains well above the national rate of 63 percent.
The state saw a loss of 1,500 private-sector jobs during the month, but private-sector employment has grown by more than 39,300 over the past year.
March saw private-sector losses in the Professional & Business Services (-4,400) and Construction (-1,400) sectors. Gains were seen in the Trade, Transportation & Utilities (2,400) and Private Educational & Health Services (1,500) sectors.
Indiana’s unemployment rate in March was far lower than the rate in neighboring states Illinois (4.9 percent), Kentucky (5 percent), Ohio (5.1 percent) and Michigan (5.1 percent).
The national unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in February.