The Indiana workforce is finally on its way to recovery, as recent statistics indicate the state’s unemployment rates are now the lowest since 2008 – lower than the national average.

According to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, new data shows the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is currently at 6.4%, which is the lowest it has been since the bottom dropped out of the economy nearly six years ago.

“Every Hoosier should be encouraged by today’s unemployment numbers, which show the largest one-month drop in unemployment in 20 years,” said Pence. “Indiana’s rate is now lower than the national average, and our labor force and population continue to grow.”

Joe Frank, a representative for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, said Indiana leads the nation in manufacturing jobs (4,500) and a tight second in positions that have been created within the past year (13,800).

However, some local lawmakers were not that impressed with the new numbers. Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath says there are still hundreds of thousands of out of work Hoosiers and 82 of the state’s 92 counties are experiencing an increase in unemployment.

“We may talk about unemployment percentages going down, but they are not going down as much as the continued 10-year decline in the household incomes of Hoosiers,” said Pelath.

Despite the perception, what remains true is that Indiana’s unemployment rate is now lower than all of its surrounding states – the first time it has been beneath the national average since summer 2012.

Governor Pence says Indiana has a way to go before it is safe to say the economy has resurrected. “We know that unemployment numbers are not a complete measure of the health of the economy,” he said. “Too many Hoosiers are still struggling, which is why we need to continue pushing to improve Indiana’s economic climate, to attract more jobs and to make sure Hoosier workers have the skills they need for the jobs of the future. ”

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