Despite "now hiring" signs everywhere, especially at restaurants and retail stores, Indiana's unemployment rate ticked up to 4% in May as more people returned to the workforce.
The national jobless rate was 5.8% in May, down from 6.1% in April.
Indiana's labor force — the total number of people working and actively seeking work — grew by 6,370 in May, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. A total of 3,292 more Hoosiers were considered unemployed while actively seeking work last month, and 3,078 more were employed.
There are 3.34 million Hoosiers — or about 63.2% — participating in the labor force, as compared to 61.2% of people nationwide, according to the DWD. There are 2.62 million Hoosiers working in the private sector.
Private-sector employment in Indiana has risen by 234,800 this year but declined by 2,700 in May. Last month, the Hoosier state lost 3,600 jobs in manufacturing and 700 in trade, transportation and utilities, according to the Department of Workforce Development. The state gained 1,900 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 400 in construction last month.
Unemployment stayed steady at 7.1% in May in neighboring Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Illinois lost 7,900 jobs in May. The state added 6,300 jobs in leisure and hospitality, 2,000 in manufacturing and 1,900 in educational and health services. Illinois lost 10,000 government jobs, 5,600 construction jobs and 1,300 jobs in financial activities.
In May, Indiana was tied with North Dakota, Minnesota and Oklahoma for the 12th lowest unemployment rate nationally. It tied with North Dakota and Minnesota the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwest states, trailing Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin. Illinois had the highest jobless rate in the Midwest and the 42nd highest nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.