Chesterton Tribune

Jobless rate dips nominally statewide and here in Chesterton

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate dropped to 8.2 percent in March from 8.4 percent in February, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said today.

The national unemployment rate also dropped to 8.2 percent in March, from 8.3 percent in February.

March was the fourth consecutive month the state’s rate declined and the state’s unemployment rate has not fallen below 8.2 percent since December of 2008.

“It is good news that Indiana’s unemployment rate is on the way down,” DWD Commissioner Mark Everson said. “Indiana has seen steady job growth since the beginning of the year, with manufacturing leading the way, adding almost 8,000 jobs.”

Everson noted the improvement in the state’s unemployment rate over the past year has occurred despite an increase in the labor force during the same period. This is a sharp contrast from some of our neighboring states, which have seen their unemployment rates drop in large part due to individuals leaving the workforce.

Additionally, a drop in Indiana’s unemployment rate means that under federal law the state is no longer eligible for the fourth tier of federally funded extended benefits. Tier IV is the final six weeks of the current 79 weeks of unemployment insurance available. According to federal law, the state’s three-month average unemployment rate must be above 8.5 percent to qualify. Hoosiers will be unable to file a new claim for tier four beginning Sunday, May 20. Individuals currently receiving Tier IV benefits will be able to finish any remaining weeks on their claim. Approximately 5,000 Hoosiers are currently receiving the fourth tier of federally extended benefits. Additional information is available on DWD’s website at www.in.gov/dwd

Sectors showing significant employment gains in March include manufacturing (+3,400); leisure and hospitality (+2,500); and financial activities (+1,300).

Professional and business services sector showed significant decline (-2,500).

Total non-farm employment increased in March (+3,000).

Regionally, Locally

In Porter County the unemployment rate in March dropped to 8.0 percent, from 8.1 percent in February (8.2 percent in March 2011). Throughout the county, 6,535 people were looking for work, a 1.5-percent decrease from February (a decrease of 2.2 percent since March 2011).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in March fell to 9.7 percent, from 9.8 percent in February (9.9 percent in March 2011). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in March slipped to 10.7 percent, from 10.9 percent in February (11.1 percent in March 2011).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in March dropped to 7.7 percent, from 7.9 percent in February (7.4 percent in March 2011). A total of 496 people was looking for work in March, a decrease of 3.3 percent since February (an increase of 3.5 percent since March 2011).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in March ticked up to 7.7 percent, from 7.6 percent in February (7.4 percent in March 2011). A total of 1,208 people was looking for work in March, an increase of 0.2 percent since February (an increase of 3.4 percent since March 2011).

In Portage the unemployment rate in March remained steady at 9.2 percent, the same as in February (10.0 percent in March 2011). A total of 1,625 people was looking for work in March, a decrease of 0.1 percent since February (a decrease of 8.9 percent since March 2011).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in March:

•In Gary the rate dropped to 13.0 percent, from 13.1 percent in February (12.3 percent in March 2011).

•In East Chicago the rate jumped by nearly a full point, to 12.9 percent from 12.1 percent in February (13.3 percent in March 2011).

•In Hammond the rate slipped to 10.2 percent, from 10.3 percent in February (10.1 percent in March 2011).

•In Michigan City the rate fell by half a point, to 11.2 percent from 11.7 percent in February (12.0 percent in March 2011).

•In LaPorte, the rate remained steady, at 11.3 percent, the same as in February (11.5 percent in March 2011).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in March dipped to 8.2 percent, from 8.3 percent in February (9.2 percent in March 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 in March was 14.5 percent, down from 14.9 percent in February (16.2 percent in March 2011).

“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 for 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 4/20/2012