Indiana unemployment rate drops, as national rate inches up 

By Olivia Covington

The Indiana unemployment rate dropped while total private sector employment rose to pre-recession levels in May,a report from the Department of Workforce Development Unemployment fell to 8.3 percent, which is a 0.2 percentage point decrease from April's level. Indiana was one of two states in the Midwest to see a drop in unemployment levels in May.

The national unemployment average rose 0.1 percent points in May to 7.6 percent.

The overall decrease in the unemployment rate during April and May is the largest two-month drop in unemployment in Indiana since early 2012. Additionally, unemployment insurance benefits claims for 2013 are at the lowest levels the state has seen since 2000.

The private sector saw a 0.4 percent increase in May, which was the eighth largest growth in the nation. About 9,000 jobs were added, which is the biggest monthly job increase since February 2012.

Indiana is fifth in the nation for percentage of growth since July 2009, when employment was at its lowest level.

"May was quite a positive month for job growth in the Hoosier state," Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Scott Sanders said in a statement. "Most tangible employment measures seem to be trending in the right direction for the moment, which is cause for cautious optimism."

Private sector employment is the highest it's been since July 2008. Five sectors added jobs in May, while two showed declines in job growth:

Trade, Transportation & Utilities added 4,100 jobs

Leisure and Hospitality added 3,300 jobs

Professional & Business Services added 2,500 jobs

Financial Activities added 1,400 jobs

Construction added 400 jobs

Private Educational & Health Services lost 1,600 jobs

Manufacturing lost 800 jobs

Total non-farm employment added 7,500 jobs in May.

Overall, Indiana has added 45,300 jobs to the private sector over the past year. About 13 percent of the growth has been in manufacturing, which has more jobs as a percentage of the private sector in Indiana than in any other state.

Nearly 60,000 manufacturing jobs have been added to the Indiana private sector since July 2009.said Friday.

Olivia Covington is a reporter for, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.

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