Indiana’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.2 percent in March and remained significantly lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Friday.
Private sector employment grew by 4,300 over February, and is up 27,300 over the past year, the state said.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 7,513 workers from February to March, to 3.32 million. The increase was a result of 2,077 unemployed residents no longer seeking employment and a 9,590 increase 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 63.8 percent in March, up from 63.7 percent in February. It remains well ahead of the national rate of 62.9 percent.
March job gains were seen in the Construction (1,100) and the Trade, Transportation and Utilities (2,600) sectors. Job losses were primarily seen in the Leisure and Hospitality category (-300) and Financial Activities (-200) sector.
The national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent also was unchanged from February. The state’s unemployment 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 unemployment rate in Indiana for March also is lower than in neighboring states Michigan (4.7percent), Illinois (4.6 percent), Ohio (4.4 percent) and Kentucky (4 percent).