Unemployment drops to 3.6 percent in Indiana

Job applications and information for the Gap Factory Store sit on a table during a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami. Unemployment is down to 3.6 percent in Indiana.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

Unemployment in Indiana fell to 3.6 percent percent in April, down from 3.9 percent in March.

The number of jobless people in the Hoosier state dropped by 11,603 last month, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The state's unemployment rate has fallen by 1.1 percent over the last year, and now it's so low state officials are becoming more concerned with "a workforce challenge in meeting current employer demand" than with the number of people looking for jobs.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate reaching its lowest point since 2001 is a testament to the strength of the Hoosier economy; however, it's also indicative of an ever-tightening labor market for Hoosier businesses,” Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Steven Braun said. “I encourage unemployed and underemployed Hoosiers to be steadfast in their job searches and consider training and placement opportunities available at their local WorkOne Career Center.”

The Hoosier state gained 800 leisure and hospitality jobs and another 800 financial activities jobs last month, according to the DWD. Private sector jobs have grown by more than 28,700 so far this year, and more than 2.67 million people are now employed in the state. 

Indiana had the nation's 14th lowest unemployment rate in March. It was, however, in the middle of the pack in the Midwest, ranking sixth out of the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwest states.

Illinois ranked 32nd nationally with an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. The Land of Lincoln was tied with Michigan for the second-highest jobless rate in the Midwest. in the Midwest region, only Ohio has a higher unemployment rate of 5 percent.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.