Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Indiana's jobless rate stable in March but way down in Northwest Indiana

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate remained stable in March at 3.2 percent, the same as in February, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reporting.

With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana’s unemployment rate has now been lower than the national rate for more than four years, DWD said.

The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicator which reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 7,513 over the previous month, DWD said. This was a result of 2,077 unemployed Hoosiers no longer seeking employment with the past four weeks, and a 9,590 increase in residents employed. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.32 million, while the state’s 63.8-percent labor-force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent.

In addition, DWD said, the state’s initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historic lows.

Private sector employment has grown by more than 27,300 over the year, and has increased by 4,300 over the previous month.

Notable sector gains include trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,600); and construction (+1,100).

Gains were partially offset by losses in leisure and hospitality (-300); and financial activities (-200).

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana, the jobless rate dropped significantly in March, after spiking for several consecutive months.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in March fell by more than half a point, to 3.9 percent from 4.5 percent in February (4.6 percent in March 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in March dropped by half a point, to 5.1 percent from 5.6 percent in February (5.6 percent in March 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in March also dropped by more than half a point, to 4.6 percent from 5.2 percent in February (5.3 percent in March 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in March dropped marginally, to 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent in February (4.3 percent in March 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in March fell by half a point, to 3.3 percent from 3.8 percent in February (4.3 percent in March 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in March dropped by more than half a point, to 4.6 percent from 5.2 percent in February (5.4 percent in March 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in March:

* In Gary the rate slipped to 7.1 percent, from 7.3 percent in February (7.4 percent in March 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate dropped by more than half a point, to 7.1 percent from 7.7 percent in February (8.1 percent in March 2017).

* In Hammond the rate fell to 5.5 percent, from 5.8 percent in February (5.9 percent in March 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate dropped by more than half a point, to 4.7 percent from 5.3 percent in February (5.7 percent in March 2017).

* In LaPorte, the rate fell by more than half a point, to 4.3 percent from 5.0 percent in February (4.9 percent in March 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in March was stable at 4.1 percent, the same as in February (4.6 percent in March 2017).

However--according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--if “discouraged workers.” all other “marginally attached workers,” and “total part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, then the unofficial national unemployment rate in March was 8.0 percent, down from 8.2 percent in February (8.9 percent in March 2017).

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 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 4/24/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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