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Unemployment rate unchanged in Indiana, Illinois

Vince Casboni, right, of ACN Representatives in Dyer, talks with job seekers at a job fair hosted by ETS Events at Living Hope Community Church in South Holland. Unemployment stayed steady in Indiana and Illinois last month.

Indiana's unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.6% in April, matching the national average.

The Hoosier state's labor force gained 1,349 people in April, including 1,320 more employed residents and 29 more unemployed residents actively seeking work, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Private-sector employment decreased in Indiana by 36,700 jobs in April, due mainly to a loss of 600 jobs in Financial Activities and 400 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Indiana, however, gained 1,600 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 1,100 jobs in the construction sector in April, according to the DWD. The state has added a total of 36,700 jobs over the last year and private employment now stands at 2.74 million in Indiana. That's about 11,400 more jobs than the previous high point of employment in December of last year.

Nationwide, Indiana was tied with Arkansas and Montana for the 23rd highest unemployment rate in the country. Indiana had the 9th highest jobless rate out of the 12 U.S. Census Bureau-designated Midwestern states, trailing North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas.

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In the Midwest, Indiana was only ahead of Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

Illinois ranked 43rd nationwide and last in the Midwest in unemployment. The state's jobless rate was unchanged in April at 4.4% but up from 4.3% at the same time last year.

The Land of Lincoln gained 1,900 jobs in professional and business services and 1,200 in leisure and hospitality. So far this year, Illinois has added 83,500 jobs, including 22,500 in professional and business services, 17,000 in leisure and hospitality and 14,800 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.