Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in five and a half years, now lower than the national rate, even as the state’s private sector lost jobs in January.
The Indiana unemployment rate fell nearly half a percent in January, its largest one-month drop in 20 years. Its rate of 6.4 percent is the lowest since September 2008 and the first time the state’s rate has been below the national average in nearly two years.
Yet the state’s private sector contracted to start the year, losing 7,100 jobs. Its biggest losses were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, as well as the construction business.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development blames the losses primarily on the extreme winter weather that gripped Indiana.
In a statement, Governor Mike Pence says while people should be encouraged by the drop in the unemployment rate, he acknowledges that the news is not all positive and that Hoosiers are still struggling.