Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in March, down 0.2 percent from the previous month and the lowest since 2001. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the state lost 1,500 private sector jobs last month, though private sector employment has grown by more than 39,000 over the past year. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show the Indiana’s labor force increased by nearly 6,100 in March.

Indiana’s labor force remains at more than 3.32 million. The state’s labor force participation rate is 64.5 percent, which remains higher than the national rate of 63 percent, according to the DWD.

"While this is a positive economic indicator, there are thousands of good-paying jobs currently available in Indiana that require in-demand skills," said DWD Commissioner Steven Braun. "Fortunately, our local WorkOne Career Centers can help unemployed and underemployed Hoosiers with training programs, interview coaching, veteran services and more."

The highest growth sectors for Indiana in February were trade, transportation and utilities as well as private education and health services, though those gains were offset by losses in the professional and business services and construction sectors. The DWD says Indiana’s total private employment stands at 7,400 above the November 2016 peak.

Indiana’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 4.5 percent and is the lowest among the surrounding states. Illinois has the next lowest rate at 4.9 percent.

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