Indiana’s unemployment rate holds firm as labor force ticks up

Indiana’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.5 percent in February 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 7,997 workers from January to February, 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—ticked up to 65.2 percent in February. It remains ahead of the national rate of 63.2 percent.

The national unemployment rate for February was 3.8 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 4,400 in February over the previous month and is up more than 40,400 over the last year, the state said.

February job gains were seen in the sectors of Trade, Transportation and Utilities (3,300) and Professional and Business Services (2,500). Job losses were seen in Construction (-2,100) and Financial Activities (-900).

Total private employment reached a preliminary record high point of 2,747,600, which is 15,500 above the official December 2018 peak.

The unemployment rate in Indiana for February was lower than the rates in neighboring states Michigan (4 percent), Illinois (4.3 percent), Ohio (4.6 percent) and Kentucky (4.1 percent).

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