State officials credit job growth with driving down Indiana’s jobless rate to its lowest levels since the mid-1970s.
The Department of Workforce Development reported Indiana’s unemployment rate fell from 2.7% in December to 2.4% in Januar— continuing a record low for the state dating back to 1976, when the current method of compiling unemployment rates began, according to the state.
The state reported private sector employment increased by 1,500 jobs in January and has grown for seven of the last eight months. This has resulted in a gain of 85,800 jobs year-over-year.
Total private employment now totals 2,731,800 or 9,900 below the February 2019 peak of 2,741,700, the state said.
“With a 2.4% unemployment rate in January, even lower than the previous month, Indiana continues to outperform the nation as a whole,” said Fred Payne, DWD commissioner. “The low unemployment rate coincides with significant year-over-year job growth indicating that Indiana is trending in the right direction.”
The U.S. jobless rate increased from 3.9% in December to 4% in January.
Indiana’s labor force in January had a net increase of 1,528 from December due to an increase of 10,344 employed residents and a decrease of 8,816 unemployed residents.
Indiana’s total labor force, which includes those employed and people seeking employment, stands at 3,304,953. The state’s labor force participation rate remains at 61.9% after year-end revisions, below the national rate of 62.2%, the state said.
The state private sector job gains in January were in construction (+1,100) and financial activities (+200).
In some Northern Indiana metro areas, jobless rates increased from December to January, according to the state.
In the Gary area, the January jobless rate was 3.7%, up from 2.4% in December, but down from 7.1% in January 2021.
The unemployment rate in the Elkhart-Goshen area in January was 1.6%, up from 1% in December but down from 3.8% in January 2021.
The Michigan City-La Porte area jobless rate in January was 3.3%, up from 2.2% in December but down from 4.5% in January 2021.
In the South Bend-Mishawaka area, the January jobless rate was 2.9%, up from 2% in December but down from 6.2% in January 2021.