Although the state saw a slight drop in its labor force in July,  officials reported today Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.1 percent for July and remains lower than the national rate of 4.3 percent.

Indiana’s labor force decreased by 1,077 over the previous month due to a 4,008 decrease in employment and a 2,931 increase in unemployment. Indiana’s total labor force continues to stand at more than 3.33 million, and the state’s 64.3 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to be both at near-record lows and well below the national numbers,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD). “The recently-announced Next Level Jobs grant from the Governor will continue to support this momentum as its collaboration among employers and critical stakeholders will develop new talent and resources at the local level. This program and others designed to improve skills are an indication that the Hoosier work ethic is as strong as ever and will prevail amidst workforce challenges and opportunities.”

Braun also said despite a slight increase over the past month, the unemployment rate is a reflection of the state’s constricting labor market.   He also said,  the long-term challenge of developing the state’s workforce to meet employer demand for more than one million jobs over the next 10 years remains DWD’s top priority.