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Local unemployment rate still below 5 percent

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The local unemployment rate rose slightly in May but remained under 5 percent for the second consecutive month.

Johnson County’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in May, up from 4.6 percent in April. But the rate was still down from 6.4 percent in May 2013, according to data from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The county’s unemployment rate had been above 5 percent since the end of 2008.

Indiana’s unemployment rate remained at 5.7 percent last month, largely because of roughly 2,000 unemployed residents who returned to the workforce. The state’s unemployment rate is down 2 percentage points from one year ago and lower than the national unemployment rate, which is 6.3 percent, a department news release said.

Other counties across central Indiana, including Hendricks and Hamilton counties, also had a slight increase in their unemployment rates last month.

Indiana added 4,800 private-sector jobs in May, and nearly 223,000 jobs have been added since 2009, when employment in the state was at its lowest, the news release said.

“The Hoosier labor force has grown significantly for the past eight months in a row,” workforce development commissioner Scott Sanders said in the release. “This is not the case with some of our neighboring states, who have experienced unemployment rate declines due to decreases in their labor force. It is clear that Hoosiers are going back to work and that good jobs are available.”

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