Unemployment holds steady in Indiana, falls in Illinois

2014-06-20T12:45:00Z 2014-06-23T10:11:09Z Unemployment holds steady in Indiana, falls in IllinoisJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

Indiana's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained flat at 5.7 percent last month, but joblessness crept up in Northwest Indiana.

Unemployment in the Michigan City metropolitan area, which is LaPorte County, held steady at 7.3 percent. Joblessness in the Gary metro – which includes Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties – ticked up from 7.2 percent in April to 7.3 percent in May.

More than 28,200 people in the Gary and Michigan City metros were out of work last month, as compared to about 27,400 in April.

Overall, the state added 4,800 private sector jobs in May, nearly half of which were in the private educational and health services sector.

"The Hoosier labor force has grown significantly for the past eight months in a row," said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "This is not the case with some of our neighboring states who have experienced unemployment rate declines due to decreases in their labor force. It is clear that Hoosiers are going back to work and that good jobs are available."

Illinois's unemployment rate fell for the third consecutive month, dropping from 7.9 percent in April to 7.5 percent in May, the lowest it has been since November 2008. Joblessness in Illinois has fallen by 0.9 percent over the last two months, the biggest two-month drop since the data gathering began in the mid-1970s.

"May brings us another month of encouraging data," said Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell. "More people are working and the unemployment rate is falling. May also reminds us that even as we continue to improve and move forward, more needs to be done to bring this progress to every doorstep."

Illinois is tied with Michigan for the highest unemployment rate out of the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwestern states. Nationally, only California, Kentucky and Rhode Island have higher joblessness rates.

Regionally, Indiana and Wisconsin are tied for the eighth highest jobless rate in the Midwest, trailing North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Ohio.

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