Unemployment falls to 3.2 percent in Indiana

A job seeker stops at a table offering resume critiques during a job fair on May 30, 2013, in Atlanta. Indiana's unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in the nation.

Indiana's jobless rate dropped to 3.2 percent in February, down from 3.3 percent in January.

The Hoosier state's labor force added 2,495 people who were either employed or seeking work in February, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. An estimated 4,728 more Hoosiers found work, and 2,243 stopped seeking jobs.

Indiana added 5,200 jobs in February, including 2,800 in construction and 1,900 in trade, transportation and utilities. In February, the state did suffer losses of 1,500 jobs in leisure and hospitality and another 900 in private educational and health services.

Private sector employment in the state has grown by 28,200 over the past 12 months, now standing at an all-time high of 2.6 million.

Indiana's jobless rate is lower than the national average of 4.1 percent and is the 12th lowest nationwide, but remains in the middle of the pack for the Midwest.

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Minnesota and Indiana are tied for the fifth highest jobless rate in the U.S. Census Bureau-designated 12-state Midwestern region, trailing North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Illinois has the 39th highest jobless rate nationally and the second highest in the Midwest after only Michigan.

The state's jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent in February, down from 4.8 percent in January, after the addition of 15.200 more jobs. Illinois gained 7,300 jobs in government, 5,900 in trade, transportation and utilities, and 5,500 in professional and business services.

“Illinois job growth is starting the year off with stronger momentum as average growth has picked up in early 2018,” Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays said. “At the same time, the unemployment rate has declined to an 11-year low.”


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.