Indiana’s unemployment rate continued to heal in October, improving from 6.3% in September to 5% 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 in recent months from its latest spike, falling from 16.9% in April, 12.3% in May, 11.2% in June, 7.8% in July, 6.4% in August and 6.3% in September.
Indiana’s recovery from double-digit unemployment continued to outshine the improvement in the national rate. U.S. unemployment improved from 7.9% in September to 6.9% in October.
An estimated 167,701 Hoosiers are currently unemployed and seeking jobs, the state reported. That’s down from 208,282 in September.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—decreased by a net 7,271 over September’s tally to about 3.34 million. This was the result of a decrease of 41,803 unemployed residents and an increase of 34,532 employed residents.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rose slightly from 63% in September to 63.1% in October. It still 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 October increased by 23,300 from the previous month and is down by 83,900 over the year. Total private employment stands at 2,645,400, which is 103,900 below the January 2019 peak.
The monthly increase was due in part to job gains in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector (8,600), the Professional and Business Services sector (7,400), and the Leisure and Hospitality sector (3,600). Gains were offset somewhat by losses in the Construction sector (-900).
Friday’s report broke out unemployment rates for six nearby states, with only Minnesota (4.6%) reporting a lower rate than Indiana’s. Those will higher rates were Kentucky (7.4%), Illinois (6.8%), Wisconsin (5.7%), Ohio (5.6%) and Michigan (5.5%).