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Indiana unemployment rate holds steady at 3.5 percent for six consecutive months

A sign for a car repair shop reads "Busy Busy Help Wanted"
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Indiana's unemployment rate has held steady for six consecutive months at 3.5 percent.

Indiana state officials say the state’s overall economic outlook remains strong — even as the state’s labor force has shrunk four consecutive months.

Indiana’s unemployment rate in the most recent jobs report, released Friday, remained steady in February at 3.5 percent. That marks six consecutive months at that rate.

READ MORE: Labor data changes tell good news, bad news story for Indiana

Yet the total labor force shrunk again, with the participation rate down to 62.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since December 2021. The labor force is a count of not just those with a job, but also those actively looking for one. It’s often cited as a measure of optimism in the economy.

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State officials, however, point to the labor force participation rate among what they call the key demographic — 25- to 54-year-olds, where the rate is more than 80 percent.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.