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Indiana's unemployment rate falls to 5%
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Indiana's unemployment rate falls to 5%

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Indiana's unemployment rate falls to 5%

Students talk to an ArcelorMittal representative about the company's Steelworker of the Future program at a past job fair. The state's unemployment rate fell by 1.2 percentage points last month.

Indiana's unemployment rate fell to 5% in October, down from 6.2% in September and the stratospheric high of 16.9% during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in April.

The Hoosier state's jobless rate was below the national rate of 6.9% last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Indiana's labor force — the number of people employed or actively seeking work — dropped by 7,271 in October, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. That's the result of a decrease of 41,803 unemployed residents and an increase of 34,532 employed residents statewide.

An estimated 3.34 million people, or 63.1% of the Hoosier state's population, are participating in the workforce. That's higher than the national rate of 61.7% labor force participation, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Private sector employment in Indiana increased by 23,300 in October as compared to September and is down by 83,900 so far this year, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that ground much of the economy to a halt while stay-at-home orders were in effect. In October, the Hoosier state gained 8,600 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, 7,400 jobs in the professional and business services sector, and 3,600 in leisure and hospitality.

But Indiana lost 900 jobs in the construction sector, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. 

In neighboring Illinois, joblessness fell 3.6 percentage points to 6.8% in October, the fourth straight month of decline. 

Last month, Illinois added 13,800 jobs in professional and business services, 4,200 jobs in construction, and 2,100 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Services. The state lost 13,500 jobs in government, and another 6,500 jobs in educational and health services.

How much do Northwest Indiana CEOs make?

An estimated 3.34 million people, or 63.1% of the Hoosier state's population, are participating in the workforce.

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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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