Indiana’s unemployment rate continued to improve in February, decreasing from 4.2% in January to 4% last month, according to numbers released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
The state’s unemployment rate has been doggedly retracing its steps over the last year from its latest spike, falling from 16.9% in April to 12.3% in May, 11.2% in June, 7.8% in July, 6.4% in August, 6.3% in September, 5.5% in October, 5.1% in November, 4.3% in December, and 4.2% in January.
It was 3.2% in February 2020, just before the pandemic triggered wide-scale layoffs and jon losses..
Indiana’s recovery from double-digit unemployment continued to outshine the improvement in the national rate. U.S. unemployment slipped from 6.3% January to 6.2% in February.
An estimated 133,977 Hoosiers are currently unemployed and seeking jobs, the state reported. That’s down from 141,188 in January.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—decreased net 4,971 over January’s tally to about 3.34 million. This was the result of a decrease of 7,402 unemployed residents and an increase of 2,431 employed residents.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rate ticked down from 63.3% in January to 63.2% in February. It again bettered the national rate of 61.4%, which was unchanged from January.
The labor force participation rate indicates the percentage of all people of working age who are employed or are actively seeking work.
Private sector employment in Indiana in December decreased by 6,600 from the previous month and is down by 113,400 over the year. Total private employment stands at 2,622,600, which is 118,500 below the December 2019 peak.
The monthly decrease was due in part to job losses in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector (-5,500) and Financial Activities sector (-900). Losses were offset somewhat by gains in the Manufacturing (2,500) and Leisure and Hospitality sectors (1,500) sectors
Friday’s report broke out unemployment rates for six nearby states, five of which had higher unemployment rates than Indiana: Minnesota (4.3%), Ohio (5%), Kentucky (5.2%), Michigan (5.2%) and Illinois (7.4%). Wisconsin’s rate was lower, at 3.8%.