Indiana's unemployment rate held steady in November at 8 percent, according to data the state and federal government released Tuesday.
With nearly 252,000 people looking for jobs last month, the jobless rate was unchanged from October.
Private sector jobs contracted by 9,800 in November, mainly due to losses in the seasonally-volatile construction industry, according to the Department of Workforce Development.
“While November’s news is not characteristic of what Indiana has experienced lately, we continue to significantly outpace the national average of job growth over the past year,” said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the department, in a statement. “Even taking into account last month’s losses, the Hoosier State has still added more than 52,000 jobs since November of 2011 and nearly 144,000 since July 2009, the low point of employment during the most recent recession.”
Sanders also noted initial claims for unemployment insurance in 2012 have been lower than any other period since 2005.
Unemployment rates in the region rose significantly in November. Lake County's unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent in November from 8.7 percent in October. Porter County's rate increased to 7.7 percent from 6.9 percent, while LaPorte County's rate also increased to 9.7 percent from 8.9 percent.
The Indiana unemployment level hasn't changed much since reaching 7.9 percent in April after going down from 9.3 percent in the middle of last year.
Unemployment in the Hoosier State remains lower than all surrounding states, with the exception of Ohio, and slightly above the national rate.