INDIANAPOLIS – The state’s unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent in June for the first time in more than seven years as the state’s labor force continued to expand.
The rate – which measures the number of people who are actively seeking work but unemployed – fell to 4.9 percent from 5.1 in May. That’s the third consecutive month of decline.
“Consistent sizable growth of our labor force and significant declines in the number of unemployed Hoosiers since January of 2013 culminated in the lowest unemployment rate in over seven years in June,” said Steven Braun, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, in a written statement.
“During the same period, the number of private sector jobs has increased by more than 114,000 and our labor force has consistently participated at a rate above the national average,” he said.
But despite the good news, the state’s private sector employment contracted in June by about 3,800 jobs. The losses were led by declines in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and private educational and health services.
Indiana’s unemployment rate in June was lower than the national rate of 5.3 percent and lower than the rates in neighboring states.