The unemployment rate in Indiana continued to rebound in August, improving from 7.8% in July to 6.4% last month.
Indiana’s recovery from double-digit unemployment earlier this year also continued to outpace the national rate, according to numbers released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. U.S. unemployment improved from 10.2% in July to 8.4 % in August.
An estimated 214,408 Hoosiers are currently unemployed and seeking jobs, the state reported. That’s down from 258,598 in July.
Friday’s numbers also reversed two troubling indicators from July’s report: a significant decrease in the state’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—and in its labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work.
Indiana’s labor force decreased by a net 75,741 workers from June to July, dropping to 3.31 million. But in August, the labor force increased by a net 41,752 to 3.36 million. This was the result of a decrease of 46,693 unemployed residents and an increase of 88,445 employed residents.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rate fell from 64.3% in June to 62.8% in July. But in August it rose to 63.5%, which bettered the national rate of 61.7%.
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 August increased by 32,700 over the previous month but was down by 103,000 over the year. Total private employment hit 2,631,000 million, which was 118,300 below the January 2019 peak.
The monthly increase was due in part to job gains in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector (7,200), the Private Education and Health Services sector (6,300) and the Professional and Business Services sector (6,600).
Friday’s report broke out unemployment rates for six nearby states, with only Wisconsin (6.2%) reporting a lower rate than Indiana’s. Illinois (11%), Kentucky (7.6%), Michigan (8.7%), Minnesota (7.4%) and Ohio (8.9%) had higher rates.