Indiana’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.6 percent in December as the state’s labor force continued to grow.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development released its latest unemployment report Friday.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 1,534 workers from November to December, to 3.4 million.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—stayed at 65.1 percent in December. It remains ahead of the national rate of 63.1 percent.
The national unemployment rate for November was 3.9 percent. With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana's unemployment rate has been below the U.S. rate for more than five years.
Private sector employment in Indiana grew by 12,200 in December over the previous month and is up more than 42,700 over the last year, the state said. December job gains were seen in the sectors of Private Educational and Health Services (4,200), Construction (3,900) and Leisure and Hospitality (1,500).
Total private employment reached a preliminary record high point of 2,731,600, which is 42,700 above the official December 2017 peak. (The new December 2018 peak, like all data within December’s report, is subject to monthly revisions and annual benchmarking.)
The unemployment rate in Indiana for November was lower than the rates in neighboring states Michigan (4 percent), Illinois (4.3 percent), Ohio (4.6 percent) and Kentucky (4.4 percent).