Indiana unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

Cheryl Bast of Omaha, left, is accompanied by her daughter Liz Pierson as she works on an application for a position with Omaha Public Schools during a job fair held in Omaha, Nebraska. Unemployment in Indiana dropped to 3.7 percent last month.

Nati Harnik, Associated Press

Unemployment in Indiana dropped to 3.7 percent in November, down from 3.9 percent in October.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported that 9,882 fewer people were employed in the Hoosier state last month, and another 5,516 residents no longer sought work and had dropped out of the workforce. The state lost 4,200 jobs in November after decreases of 2,900 jobs in Trade, Transportation and Utilities and 2,500 in Leisure and Hospitality.

Indiana did however gain 4,900 jobs in construction in November and 13,700 jobs over the past year. A total of about 2.69 million people are now working in the Hoosier state.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.1 percent.

Indiana has the 20th lowest jobless rate nationally, but has the ninth highest unemployment out of the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwestern states, trailing North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, and South Dakota.

In the Midwest, only Michigan, Ohio and Illinois have higher jobless rates than Indiana.

Illinois ranks last in the Midwest and 45th nationally with an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, unchanged from October. The Land of Lincoln saw nonfarm payrolls decrease by 1,100 jobs in November.

“Illinois employment growth saw a lot of over-the-month ups and downs this past year.” Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays said. “But payrolls overall have increased by about a half-percent over the year to date, which is an additional 23,900 jobs.”

In November, Illinois lost 2,800 jobs in Government, 2,200 in Financial Activities and 2,100 in Other Services.

The state however gained 6,300 jobs in Professional and Business Services, 2,200 in Manufacturing and 2,100 in Construction. 

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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.