INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time since December, the Indiana unemployment rate has increased. The February rate stood at 4.7 percent, up slightly from January. Despite the rise, the private sector added 6,900 jobs last month.

Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Steven Braun says more than 35,000 Hoosiers have rejoined the labor force and found jobs over the past two months.

"This growth is even more impressive when compared to the 11,376 individuals who joined the labor force in January and February of 2015." he adds.

The private sector gains were driven by growth in the Trade, Transportation & Utilities, Private Education & Health Services and Leisure & Hospitality sectors.

Professional & Business Services and Manufacturing sectors shed a combined 5,600 jobs in February.

The state says its labor force participation rate continues to outpace the country 64.6 percent to 62.9 percent and initial unemployment insurance claims in Indiana are still the lowest they've been in over a decade.

Indiana continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the region, ahead of Michigan at 4.8 percent, Ohio at 4.9 percent, Kentucky at 5.8 percent and Illinois at 6.4 percent. It's also outpacing the national rate.