Indiana's unemployment rate remained at 8.7 percent in March, halting a recent upward trend, according to government data released Friday.
Figures from the Department of Workforce Development show about 284,000 Hoosiers were unemployed in March, while 2.8 million had jobs.
Indiana witnessed the first decline in jobs in more than a year, as the state shed about 11,000 private sector jobs over the past month. The state cited possible uncertainty in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors and the recent unseasonable weather.
The state experienced another month of increase in manufacturing jobs, production hours and durable goods production employment, according to the Department of Workforce Development. The state said these increases may point to sustained growth and future expansion potential.
“While March’s job numbers are evidence of some uncertainty in the market and confirm there is a good deal more work to do, we cannot overstate Indiana’s prominence and growing strength in manufacturing,” said Scott Sanders, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
“The Hoosier State has more manufacturing jobs as a percentage of our private sector than any other state in the U.S. and we continue to experience real, tangible proof of sustained growth and propensity for expansion potential.”
Unemployment rates in the region dipped slightly in March.
Lake County's unemployment rate dropped to 10.8 percent, from 11.1 percent in February. Porter County's rate dipped to 8.7 percent from February's 9 percent, while LaPorte County's rate dropped to 11.6 percent in March compared to 11.9 in February.
Unemployment in the Hoosier state remains lower than Illinois, which is at 9.5 percent, but higher than the national rate of 7.6 percent.