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Indiana sets new private employment record in January

Job seekers line up in the lobby of Staff Source in Hammond. Indiana set a new private employment record of 2.73 million employed in January.

Private employment in Indiana again hit a new record high in January.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported a record 2.73 million Hoosiers were working in January, a tentative peak for the state that could be subject to a monthly revision next month, or annual benchmarking later. Private employment in Indiana surpassed the previous record high point, established in December, by 7,200 employed workers in January.

The jobless rate in Indiana fell to 3.5 percent in January, down from 3.6 percent in December.

Indiana added 3,100 jobs in the private educational and health services sector and 3,000 in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, according to the DWD.

Indiana's labor force grew by 7,613 in January because of an increase of 6,057 employed residents and an increase of 1,556 unemployed residents actively seeking work. More than 3.39 million Hoosiers are now participating in the labor force, either working or pursuing gainful employment.

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Indiana's jobless rate remained lower than the national rate of 4 percent.

The Hoosier state had the 20th lowest jobless rate nationally, but the ninth highest in the Midwest, trailing Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri and Kansas. Out of the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwestern states, only Michigan, Illinois and Ohio had higher jobless rates.

Neighboring Illinois had a jobless rate of 4.3 percent, the 40th highest in the country and the 11th highest in the Midwest, ahead of only Ohio.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 24,000 jobs in Illinois in January. Illinois added 9,300 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, 5,800 jobs in the construction sector, and 4,200 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“We’re pleased to see strong job growth in January and look forward to building on this foundation in the months to come,” Illinois Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said. 

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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.