Indiana jobless rate continues drop to 5% for October

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped by more than a percentage point to 5.0% for October, although the number of residents being paid jobless benefits remains far higher than before the coronavirus-caused recession.

The state employment report released Friday showed Indiana’s jobless rate fell from September’s 6.3% mark and continued a steep drop from the state’s 17.5% rate in April after the pandemic first prompted widespread business closures across the country.

Indiana remained below the national unemployment rate of 6.9% for October and its rate was better than all its surrounding states.

Indiana’s jobless mark had been mostly between 3.5% and 3.0% for more than two years before the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy.

Unemployment, however, remains persistent across Indiana, with some 87,000 people receiving jobless benefits as of the end of October — a level that is nearly 5-1/2 more than a year ago, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The surge in jobless payments has drained the state’s unemployment fund that stood at nearly $1 billion before joblessness earlier this year.

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