Chesterton Tribune

Indiana December jobless rate holds steady, increases locally

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted jobless rate held steady at 9.0 percent in December, the same as November and October (9.2 percent in December 2010).

The DWD said Indiana’s labor force grew by 17,200 in December, adding more than 12,000 private sector jobs. Since July, the state’s labor force has increased by 2.2 percent while the nation has only increased by .3 percent.

“2011 closed out with strong growth in employment and a continued increase in the labor force,” said Mark W. Everson, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. “December was one of the best months for job creation in over a decade.”

Sectors showing significant employment gains in December include Professional and Trade Business Services (+4,800); Manufacturing (+3,600); Construction (+3,600) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+2,300).

The industry showing the sharpest job declines for the month was Leisure and Hospitality (-1,700).

Total non-farm employment in Indiana increased by 15,000 jobs in December as opposed to November when the figure remained flat.

Local and Regional Figures

Although unemployment numbers seemed to hold steady throughout the state, there were small increases in unemployment reported generally throughout Northwest Indiana.

In Porter County the unemployment rate in December rose to 7.6 percent, from 7.5 percent in November (8.1 percent in December 2010). Throughout the county, 6,172 people were looking for work in December compared to 6,052 in November, an increase of 1.8 percent (a decrease of 5.2 percent in December 2010).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in December held steady at its November rate of 9.7 percent, (the rate was 9.9 percent in December 2010). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in December was 10.0 percent which is a .1 percent increase over November (10.6 percent in December 2010).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in December significantly ballooned to 7.7 percent compared to 7.1 in November when the town had the lowest unemployment in the region (7.0 percent in December 2010). The report shows 516 people in Chesterton were looking for work in December compared to 460 in November, an increase of 9.3 percent (a decrease from 12.9 percent in December 2010).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate for December dipped to 7.4 percent, from 7.5 percent in November (7.7 percent in December 2010). A total of 1,134 Valparaiso residents were looking for work in December, compared to 1,154 in November, a decrease of 1.1 percent (a decrease of 2.9 percent since December 2010).

In Portage the unemployment rate in December held at 8.8 percent, the same compared to November (9.4 percent in December 2010). A total of 1,595 Portage residents were looking for work in December, compared to 1,565 in November, an increase of 1.1 percent (a decrease of 4.9 percent since December 2010).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in December:

• In Gary the rate fell significantly to 13.0 percent from 13.6 percent in November (11.1 percent in December 2010).

• In East Chicago, the rate grew to 12.6 percent, a small climb compared to 12.5 in November (13.2 percent in December 2010).

• In Hammond, the rate went up to 10.7 percent from 10.5 percent in November (10.8 percent in December 2010).

• In Michigan City the rate rose by nearly a full half point to 10.8 percent from 10.4 percent in November (11.2 percent in December 2010).

• In LaPorte the rate fell slightly to 10.4 percent, from 10.5 percent in November (10.1 percent in December 2010)

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in December dropped modestly to 8.5 percent in December compared to 8.7 percent in November (9.4 percent in December 2011).

However – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – if “discouraged workers,” all other “marginally attached workers,” and “total employed part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, the unofficial unemployment rate for December was reported to be 15.2 percent, down from 15.6 percent in November (and down from 16.6 percent in December 2010).

“Marginally attached workers” are those “who indicate that they want a job, have looked for work in the last 12 months (or since the last time they worked if they worked in the last 12 months), and are available for work.”

“Discouraged workers” are not currently looking for work for several reasons, including their belief that no job is available to them in their line of work or in their area.

“Persons employed part-time for economic reasons” are those “who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.”

 

 

Posted 1/24/2012