Indiana's unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in December, down from 3.7 percent the previous month, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Tuesday.
Private sector employment grew by 6,000 over the month and is up 24,400 over the past year, the state said.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—decreased by 14,195 workers from November to December, to 3.3 million. The decrease was a result of 10,696 unemployed residents no longer seeking employment and a 3,499 decrease in residents employed.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—stood at 63.6 percent in December. It remains well ahead of the national rate of 62.7 percent.
December jobs gains were seen in the Manufacturing (4,700) and the Private Educational & Health Services (3,500) sectors. Job losses were primarily in the sectors of Professional & Business Services (-4,100) and Financial Activities (-1,900).
Indiana’s unemployment rate in December was lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent. The state’s rate has been lower than the national rate for more than four years, except for the month of October 2014, when it was equal.
The rate in Indiana is lower than in neighboring states Michigan (4.7 percent), Illinois (4.8 percent), Ohio (4.7 percent) and Kentucky (4.4 percent).