Indiana’s unemployment rate ticked up for the second month in a row last month, rising from 3.3 percent in June to 3.4 percent in July as the state’s labor force surged.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced the latest rate on Friday.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 15,564 workers from June to July, to 3.38 million. The increase came from a rise of 12,600 employed residents and a 2,964 hike in unemployed residents.
The state’s labor force has grown by 67,519 over the past six months, the largest six-month increase since 1995.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—rose to 64.8 percent in July. It remains ahead of the national rate of 62.9 percent.
Private sector employment in Indiana grew by 5,600 in July over the previous month and is up more than 24,800 over the year, the state said.
July job gains were seen in the sectors of Professional & Business Services (2,700) and the Construction (2,000). Loss came in the Other category (-1,000), which includes Mining and Logging, IT and Other Services, and in the Financial Activities sector (-400).
Total private employment in the state more than 2.7 million in July.
The unemployment rate in Indiana for July was lower than the rates in neighboring states Michigan (4.3 percent), Illinois (4.2 percent), Ohio (4.6 percent) and Kentucky (4.3 percent).
The state’s unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate (currently 3.9 percent) for more than four years, except for the month of October 2014, when it was equal.