The unemployment rate declined in April for the second consecutive month, down 0.3 of a percent to 3.6 percent. That’s the biggest single month drop since late 2010. And 3.6 percent is the lowest rate since February 2001.
But the Hoosier private sector lost 9,300 jobs last month. That’s the largest single month decline since June 2009. The losses were led by the manufacturing and private educational and health services sectors. And the private sector has now shed jobs four of the last five months.
Yet despite those losses, the unemployment rate dropped because the state’s labor force continued its upward trajectory. The labor force counts people who either have a job or are actively looking for one.
Labor force growth is typically viewed as a sign of optimism in the economy. Indiana’s labor force increased by about 4,800 people in April, the fourth consecutive month of growth.