Chesterton Tribune

Jobless rate spikes in Valpo and region, dips in Chesterton

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By KEVIN NEVERS

For the eighth consecutive month Indiana added private sector jobs, yet the jobless rate in June still edged up, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said in a statement released on Friday.

Last month, the state added 1,400 jobs and Indiana’s rate of job growth—1.5 percent—continues far to exceed the national average of 0.9 percent, DWD said. Since July 2009, the low point of employment, Indiana has added 140,400 private sector jobs and has significantly outpaced the national rate of growth during this period: (6.0 percent versus 3.3 percent.

Even so, in June the state’s unemployment rate rose to 8.0 percent, from 7.9 percent in May. Unemployment “is still below the national rate of 8.2 percent and has remained so for 3 consecutive months,” DWD said. “In June the unemployment rates of all of Indiana’s neighbors either increased or remained stagnant, with the exception of Ohio. This month marks the first increase in Indiana’s unemployment rate in nearly a year.”

“Manufacturing continues to lead the charge in Hoosier job growth, adding 2,800 jobs in June and 15,100 for 2012,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “Of the 140,400 private sector jobs Indiana has added since July 2009, almost half (60,300) have come from this sector alone.”

Sectors showing significant gains in May included professional and business services (+4,700); manufacturing (+2,800); and financial activities (+1,200).

Sectors showing significant declines were Government (-6,700), private education and health services (-4,100); and leisure and hospitality (-1,900),

Total non-farm employment decreased in May (-5,300).

Regionally, Locally

Meanwhile, nearly everywhere in the region the jobless rate rose in June, in some places out and out spiked.

Begin with Porter County, where last month unemployment rose to 7.7 percent, from 7.4 percent in May (8.1 percent in June 2011). Throughout the county, 6,344 people were looking for work, an increase of 5 percent over May (a decrease of 6.5 percent since June 2011).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in June spiked by more than half a point, to 9.5 percent from 8.9 percent in May (10.0 percent in June 2011). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent, from 9.5 percent in May (10.3 percent in June 2011).

Chesterton—which continues to post the lowest unemployment rate in Northwest Indiana—actually saw a drop in the rate in June, to 6.5 percent from 6.8 percent in May (6.9 percent in June 2011). A total of 423 people was looking for work in June, a decrease of 3.4 percent from May (a decrease of 6.0 percent from June 2011).

In Valparaiso, however, the unemployment rate in June really spiked, by a full point, to 8.1 percent from 7.1 percent in May (7.5 percent in June 2011). A total of 1,299 people was looking for work in June, an increase of 14.9 percent over May (an increase of 7.7 percent over June 2011).

In Portage the unemployment rate remained flat at 9.2 percent, the same as in May (9.9 percent in June 2011). A total of 1,661 people was looking for work in June, an increase of 1.3 percent over May (a decrease of 7.8 percent from June 2011).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in June:

•In Gary the rate rose by nearly a full point, to 14.0 percent from 13.1 percent in May (15.3 percent in June 2011).

•In East Chicago the rate actually rose by a point and a half, to 15.9 percent from 13.4 percent in June (15.1 percent in June 2011).

•In Hammond the rate increased by a half a point, to 9.5 percent from 9.0 percent (10.1 percent in June 2011).

•In Michigan City the rate rose by more than half a point, to 11.3 percent from 10.7 percent (11.9 percent in June 2011).

•In LaPorte the rate increased by half a point, to 8.4 percent from 7.9 percent (9.3 percent in June 2011).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in June remained flat at 8.2 percent, the same as in May (9.3 percent in June 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 June was 14.9 percent, up from 14.8 percent in May (16.4 percent in June 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 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 work full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.”

 

 

 

Posted 7/24/2012