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Indiana employment reaches new all-time peak in October

Workers drill holes for the picket fence at the ValPlayso playground in 2014. Employment in Indiana hit a preliminary peak in October.

Private employment in Indiana reached a preliminary record high of 2.7 million in Indiana in October.

The total is 24,300 more than during Indiana's previous official peak in December 2017, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

In October, the Hoosier state had an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, slightly lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent, and an employment participation rate of 65.1 percent that was above the national average of 62.9 percent.

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Indiana ranked seventh nationally in growth of private education and health services jobs in October, adding 2,500 jobs in that sector, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. So far this year, Indiana is fifth in job growth of 3.2 percent in the financial activities sector, and seventh in the addition of 11,100 construction jobs.

The most manufacturing-dependent state in the union, Indiana has ranked second nationally in the most manufacturing jobs added since July 2009, at the low of the Great Recession. Its 104,600 manufacturing jobs gained since then trails only Michigan, another state that's subject to the cyclical boom-and-bust of heavy industry.

Indiana has the 20th lowest jobless rate nationally, but is below-average when compared to its peers in the Midwest. In October, the Hoosier state had the ninth highest unemployment rate among the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designed Midwestern states, trailing Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri and Kansas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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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.