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Indiana ranks 25th nationwide in unemployment

A line of job applicants snakes through a ropeline to attend a job fair in New York in this file photo. Indiana's jobless rate stood at 3.6% last month.

Indiana's unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.6% for the third straight month in May, which is the same as the national average.

It stood at 3.5% in both January and February and basically has been flat all year.

The Hoosier state's labor force declined by 10,677 people in May, including decreases of 2,312 unemployed residents and 8,365 employed residents, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Private sector employment declined by 1,200 jobs in May, including a drop of 1,000 Leisure and Hospitality jobs and 900 in the Financial Activities sector.

Indiana added 900 jobs in the Manufacturing sector and 900 jobs in Education and Health Services in May. The state now has 2.74 million employed people, or about 10,000 more than the state's previous peak in December 2018.

Private sector employment has grown by 32,900 in Indiana so far this year.

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Nationwide, Indiana is tied with Arkansas, Montana and Rhode Island. Indiana ranks ninth out of the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwestern states, trailing North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, and Kansas.

In the Midwest, Indiana was only ahead of Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Illinois' unemployment stayed flat at 4.4% for the third straight month, which was 43rd nationwide and highest in the Midwest.

The number of unemployed people in the Land of Lincoln declined by 285,100 in May, which was down by 0.5% compared to the previous month but up 2.7% year-over-year, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Illinois has, however, added 3,300 jobs over the past three months, gaining 1,800 leisure and hospitality jobs, 1,300 education and health services jobs and 1,200 construction jobs.

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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.