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Indiana unemployment falls to 12.3%
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Indiana unemployment falls to 12.3%

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Indiana unemployment falls to 12.3%

Students talk to an ArcelorMittal representative about the company's Steelworker of the Future program at a past job fair.

Indiana's unemployment rate fell to 12.3% in May as more people returned to work after furloughs and temporary layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hoosier state's jobless rate was below the national rate of 13.3%, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Indiana's labor force — the number of people employed or actively seeking work — grew by 110,780 in May. It was the result of an increase of 267,683 employed residents and a decrease of 156,903 unemployed residents.

Steel production has fallen 18.4% in 2020, largely because of coronavirus

An estimated 3.33 million people, or 63.2% of the state's population, are participating in the workforce. That's higher than the national rate of 60.8% of labor force participation, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

In May, private sector employment in Indiana increased by 90,100 but remains down by 315,000 for the year, largely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that's killed more than 120,000 Americans thus far.

Last month, Indiana gained 34,700 leisure and hospitality jobs, 18,100 manufacturing jobs, and 10,700 jobs in private education and health services.

Saylor's Barber Shop closing in downtown Crown Point after nearly 60 years

Indiana's total private employment is now 2.42 million, or about 326,500 below the historic peak in January of last year.

In neighboring Illinois, the center of the Chicago metropolitan area that Northwest Indiana is part of, joblessness fell 2 percentage points to 15.2% in May. Nonfarm payrolls added 62,200 jobs last month, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Illinois lost an estimated 245,800 jobs between March and May, as compared to the same time last year. That included 95,700 jobs in leisure and hospitality, 33,600 in trade, transportation and utilities, and 30,000 in education and health services.

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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.

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