Chesterton Tribune

April jobless rate plummets in Chesterton, drops regionally

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate dropped in April to 7.9 percent from 8.2 percent in March, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said today.

A total of 15,400 new jobs was added in April, the fourth largest one-month increase in 22 years, reflecting a job-growth rate of 0.6 percent—six times the national average—and accounting for roughly 12 percent of the nation’s overall increase.

Over the past year, DWD said, Indiana’s job gains of 6.0 percent have nearly doubled the national average of 3.1 percent.

“The Hoosier state has not seen economic growth on this level in a generation,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said.

April was the fifth consecutive month in which the state unemployment rate has declined, while the 36,500 jobs added this year are the most in a four-month period since late 1998, DWD said.

Sectors showing significant gains in April were manufacturing (+6,200); professional and business services (+3,900); leisure and hospitality (+1,900); construction (+1,100); and financial activities (+1,000).

Regionally, Locally

The state’s drop in unemployment was largely mirrored in Northwest Indiana.

In Porter County the unemployment rate in April dropped more than half a point, to 7.3 percent from 8.0 percent in March (7.3 percent in April 2011). Throughout the county, 5,927 people were looking for work, a decrease of 9.4 percent from March (a decrease of 0.8 percent since April 2011).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in April dropped by nearly a full point, to 8.8 percent from 9.7 percent in March (9.4 percent in April 2011). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate also dropped substantially, to 9.6 percent from 10.7 percent in March (10.1 percent in April 2011).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in April plummeted by a full point, to 6.7 percent from 7.7 percent in March (7.2 percent in April 2011). That 6.7 percent jobless rate is the lowest in the region. A total of 432 people was looking for work in April, a decrease of 12.7 percent from March (a decrease of 7.3 percent since April 2011).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in April dropped to 6.9 percent, from 7.7 percent in March (6.5 percent in April 2011). A total of 1,079 people was looking for work in April, a decrease of 11.6 percent from March (an increase of 5. 1 percent since April 2011).

In Portage the unemployment rate in April dropped nominally, to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in March (9.4 percent in April 2011). A total of 1,620 people was looking for work in April, just about the same number as in March (a decrease of 4.1 percent since April 2011).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in April:

•In Gary the rate dropped to 12.8 percent, from 12.9 percent in March (13.2 percent in April 2011).

•In East Chicago the rate slipped to 12.9 percent, from 13.0 percent in March (13.0 percent in April 2011).

•In Hammond the rate fell by almost a full point, to 9.1 percent from 10.2 percent in March (9.1 percent in April 2011).

•In Michigan City the rate fell by more than half a point, to 10.2 percent from 11.2 percent in March (11.3 percent in April 2011).

•In LaPorte the rate fell by almost a full point, to 10.4 percent from 11.3 percent in March (10.4 percent in April 2011).

Alternative Measures

The official unemployment rate in April dipped to 8.1 percent, from 8.2 percent in March (8.7 percent in April 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 April was 14.5 percent, the same as in March (15.5 percent in April 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 5/18/2012