Indiana unemployment stays at 4 percent

A construction worker steps out onto a joist late last year at the new $8 million SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel being built at Centennial Village in Munster. Indiana's unemployment rate stayed steady at 4 percent in January.

John J. Watkins, The Times

Indiana's unemployment rate remained flat at 4 percent in January, which is the lowest it has been in 15 years.

The state lost about 2,200 private-sector jobs in January, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Indiana gained 6,100 more construction jobs during the unusually warm weather, but lost more than 9,800 jobs in the sectors of trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services.

“While Indiana's unemployment rate is a positive indicator for the state's workforce, it also represents a significant challenge for Hoosier employers in identifying and hiring qualified employees,” Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Steven Braun said.

DWD is working to align training and education efforts with employer demand to produce pipelines of skilled employees, he said.

Indiana's unemployment rate was also 4 percent in December.

Indiana had the 16th lowest jobless rate nationally in January, and was tied with Minnesota for the sixth lowest out of the Midwestern states. Illinois' unchanged unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was the 46th highest nationally and the highest in the Midwest.

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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.