The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) says the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.4 percent in December; marking a 1.5 percent decrease over the past year.

The Hoosier labor force also gained  more than 10,000 individuals in December, which brings the total labor force growth for the year to 37,762, and 109,037 added since January 2013.  DWD says December also marks the twentieth month in a row that Indiana’s labor force participation rate has exceeded the national rate (63.9 percent vs. 62.6 percent).

December private sector employment gains in Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+5,200) and Construction (+1,800), were offset by losses in Manufacturing (-3,400), Private Educational and Health Services (-1,200), Financial Activities (-800), Professional and Business Services (-400), and Leisure and Hospitality (-400). Indiana has added 140,500 private sector jobs (+5.6%) since January 2013, however.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to be at its lowest level in more than a decade,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Additionally, claims for unemployment insurance are at their lowest point since 1998.”

Braun also noted that private sector increases have averaged nearly 4,000 per month over the past 36 months.