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Unemployment rises in Indiana for second straight month

Job applicants sit with one another during an industrial job fair at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond in 2010. Unemployment in Indiana rose to 3.4 percent in July.

Unemployment climbed for the second straight month in Indiana, rising to 3.4 percent in July.

Indiana saw an increase of 2,964 employed residents last month, and an increase of 12,600 unemployed residents who are actively seeking work, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The state gained 2,700 jobs in the category of professional and business services and 2,000 jobs in construction, but lost 1,000 jobs in mining and logging and in information technology and other services, and 400 jobs in financial activities.

Indiana has a total of 2.7 million private-sector jobs, about 14,900 more than the previous all-time high in December 2017.

The Hoosier state's jobless rate was lower than the national average of 3.9 percent and tied for 15th lowest nationwide. Indiana falls in the middle of the Midwest with the seventh highest jobless rate out of the 12 U.S. Census-designated Midwestern states, trailing Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.

Illinois had the 33rd highest jobless rate nationally of 4.2 percent, which was 10th highest in the Midwest, ahead of only Michigan and Ohio.

Joblessness in the Land of Lincoln dropped to 4.2 percent in July, down from 4.5 percent in June.

“The state’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in July and stands at its lowest point in 18 years,” Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays said. “Illinois payroll employment also saw its largest over-the-year gain in more than two years.”

Nonfarm payrolls in Illinois rose by 3,700 jobs as compared to June, with an average of 9,500 jobs gained per month since May. The state added 2,400 jobs in manufacturing, 2,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector, and 1,900 jobs in business services, while losing 1,700 jobs in government.

Illinois had added 65,700 jobs over the past year, including 14,800 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

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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.