Indiana’s unemployment rate hit its best mark in nearly two decades in September, falling again to 3.2 percent.
Yet the news isn't all good – other employment data struggled for the third month in a row.
The state’s unemployment rate has improved four consecutive months, the best streak in about two-and-a-half years. And 3.2 percent is the lowest level since December 2000.
But the state’s private sector shed jobs for the third month in a row – 3,400 positions lost last month. Those losses primarily came from the leisure and hospitality and manufacturing sectors.
And in a worrying sign, the Indiana labor force shrank in September for the fifth straight month. The labor force, which measures those who have a job as well as those actively looking for one, is often viewed as a barometer of confidence in the economy. Five straight months of decline in that measure is the worst stretch since early 2017.