State unemployment rate edges up after almost hitting record low

Keywords Unemployment

Indiana’s unemployment rate ticked up to 3.1 percent in July, rising from a near-record low of 3 percent in June.

The state’s Department of Workforce Development announced the unemployment numbers Friday morning.

Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—decreased by 1,077 workers from June to July, remaining at more than 3.33 million. Indiana saw a decrease in employment of 4,008 and a increase in unemployment of 2,931, the state said.

Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—fell one-tenth of a point, to 64.3 percent, in July. It remains well ahead of the national rate of 62.9 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in July.

"Indiana's unemployment rate continues to be both at near-record lows and well below the national numbers," DWD Commissioner Steve Braun said in written comments.

The state saw a gain of about 2,000 private-sector jobs during the month. Private-sector employment has grown by more than 26,800 over the past year.

The biggest job gains were seen in the sectors Private Educational and Health Services (3,600) and Manufacturing (1,000). Losses were seen in the Construction (-700) and the Transportation, Trade and Utilities (-600) sectors.

Indiana’s unemployment rate in July was lower than the rate in neighboring states Michigan (3.7 percent), Illinois (4.8 percent), Ohio (5.2 percent) and Kentucky (5.3 percent).

The U.S. Labor Department said unemployment rates were relatively stable in most states in July. They fell in 15 states and rose in 23, but many of the changes were statistically insignificant.

Several states saw strong job growth between June and July. California added 82,600 jobs. Florida gained 32,700. Pennsylvania saw hiring of 29,000.

North Dakota's unemployment rate fell to 2.2 percent, a record low. Tennessee's rate of 3.4 percent is also a record low for that state.

Indiana jobless rate in June narrowly missed a record low of 2.9 percent that it hit during several months in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The state unemployment rate was 4.5 percent a year ago.

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