Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in April—a decline from 3.9 percent in March, the state’s Department of Workforce Development said Friday.
The rate is at its lowest point since 2001 and well below the national rate of 4.4 percent.
Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 4,805 workers in April, to more than 3.32 million, thanks to an increase of 16,408 in employment and 11,603 decrease in unemployment, the state said.
Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—rose one-tenth of a point, to 64.6 percent, in April. It remains well ahead of the national rate of 62.9 percent.
The state saw a loss of 9,300 private-sector jobs during the month, but private-sector employment has grown by more than 28,700 over the past year. Private-sector employment is measured in a separate survey from the unemployment rate and the two sets of data don’t always jibe on a month-to-month basis.
Job losses were seen in the sectors of Manufacturing (-3,200) and Private Educational & Health Services (-3,300). Gains were seen in Leisure and Hospitality (800) and Financial Activities (800).
Indiana’s unemployment rate in April was lower than the rate in neighboring states Illinois (4.7 percent), Michigan (4.7 percent), Ohio (5 percent) and Kentucky (5.1 percent).
Nationally, unemployment rates declined in 10 states in April and increased in one—Massachusetts—and held relatively stable in the other 39, the Labor Department said Friday.
Arkansas, Colorado and Oregon reported the lowest unemployment rates since 1976. Colorado’s rate, at 2.3 percent, was the nation’s lowest.
All told, 19 states had unemployment rates lower than the national average of 4.4 percent. Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota each had jobless rates below 3 percent. The highest unemployment rate was New Mexico at 6.7 percent, while Alaska had the second highest at 6.6 percent.