The Indiana unemployment rate dropped 0.02 percent in March, down to 3.9 percent. That’s the lowest rate since May of 2001.
Yet the Hoosier private sector lost 1,500 jobs last month, primarily driven by a significant decline in the Professional and Business Services sector. That’s the third time in the last four months the private sector lost jobs.
But despite those losses, the unemployment rate went down because of a surge in the labor force. The labor force measures people who either have a job or are actively looking for one. Growth in the labor force is typically viewed as a sign of optimism in the economy. Indiana’s labor force increased by about 6,000 people in March, the third consecutive month of growth.