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Indiana’s unemployment rate rose for the second straight month, climbing to the highest it’s been since May 2015.

The state’s jobless rate shot up to 5 percent in March, up from 4.7 percent in February, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Unemployment rose in March, even though 9,300 more Hoosiers were working as compared to February. The unemployment rate increased largely because more than 18,000 Indiana residents resumed looking for work.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force without jobs. The labor force is made up of all those with jobs plus those actively looking for work.

“Over 60,000 Hoosiers joined the workforce in the first three months of 2016, which is indicative of worker confidence in finding and securing gainful employment in Indiana,” Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Steven Braun said.

Indiana gained 2,500 jobs in private education & health services in March, but lost 4,100 in trade, transportation and utilities and 2,300 in construction.

Illinois’s unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in March, up from 6.4 percent in February, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Illinois continues to have the worst jobless rate out of the 12 Midwestern states, while Indiana is third worst, ahead of only Illinois and Ohio.

Indiana’s unemployment rate ranks 31st nationally, while Illinois’ is 48th.

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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.