Indiana's unemployment rate dipped slightly in May, according to government data released Friday.
The Department of Workforce Development reported the jobless rate in Indiana dropped to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent in April. Northwest Indiana's unemployment rate remained flat at 9.2 percent.
The rate's drop throughout April and May is the largest two-month decrease since early last year. Figures from the Department of Workforce Development show about 256,500 Hoosiers were unemployed in March, while 2.9 million had jobs.
Indiana’s private sector added 9,000 jobs in May, the largest monthly increase since February 2012. Private sector employment in the Hoosier State is now at the highest level since July 2008.
“May was quite a positive month for job growth in the Hoosier State,” said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Most tangible employment measures seem to be trending in the right direction for the moment, which is cause for cautious optimism.”
Sanders also noted Indiana has added 45,300 private sector jobs over the past year, more than one-third of which have occurred since January. In all, 13 percent of private sector growth over the past year has come from manufacturing as Indiana continues to have more manufacturing jobs as a percentage of the private sector than any other state, according to the DWD.
While jobless rates across Northwest Indiana dropped dramatically in April, rates by county in the region mostly stayed flat in May.
Lake County's unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent. Porter County's rate rose slightly to 7.9 percent from April's 7.7 percent, while LaPorte County's rate dipped to 10.1 percent in May compared to 10.2 in April.
Unemployment in the Hoosier state remains lower than Illinois, which is at 9.1 percent, but higher than the national rate of 7.6 percent.