Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Indiana's official jobless rate edges up as state disputes federal statistics

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Hoosier employers continued to augment their workforces for the tenth consecutive month, as Indiana gained 7,200 private sector jobs in August, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said in a statement released today.

Still, though the state’s rate of job growth tripled the national average (0.3 percent versus 0.1 percent), its unemployment rate increased to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in July.

“Since July 2009, the low point of employment, Indiana has added more than 150,000 private sector jobs and continues to significantly outpace the national rate of growth during this period (6.5 percent versus 3.5 percent),” DWD said.

“For the third month in a row Indiana received data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics showing considerable discrepancies between the two measures of job growth and employment,” DWS said. “According to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics data, which is derived from a federal government phone survey of 1,000 households in Indiana, over 66,000 Hoosiers have gone from gainfully employed to no longer in the labor force over the span of three months. This is considerably more than neighboring states. During this same period, the federal government’s measure of payroll data, the Current Employment Statistics survey, shows Indiana private sector jobs increased by more than 11,000.”

“Yet another month the federal government has notified us our unemployment rate increased while we added actual jobs,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “We have repeatedly questioned their data models. It’s pretty obvious the numbers just don’t add up.”

Indiana is still significantly outperforming the U.S. average for private sector job growth (1.9 percent versus 1.1 percent), manufacturing growth (3.0 percent versus 1.4 percent) and nearly every other employment sector in 2012.

Sectors showing gains in August include private educational and health services (+5,200); construction (+2,200); trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,900); and leisure and hospitality (+600).

Sectors showing declines include government (-2,000); financial activities (-1,900); professional and business services (-1,800); and manufacturing (-1,200).

Total non-farm employment increased in August (+5,200).

Regionally, Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana results were mixed.

In Porter County the unemployment rate in August dipped to 7.6 percent, from 7.7 percent in July (8.1 percent in August 2011). Throughout the county, 6,204 people were looking for work, a decrease of 2.1 percent from July (a decrease of 7.7 percent since August. 2011).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in August fell to 9.3 percent, from 9.6 percent in July (10.5 percent in August 2011). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in August decreased to 9.7 percent, from 9.8 percent in July (10.4 percent in August 2011).

In Chesterton—which continues to post the lowest unemployment rate in Northwest Indiana—edged up in August, to 6.6 percent from 6.4 percent in July (7.2 percent in August 2011). A total of 424 people was looking for work in August, an increase of 3.2 percent over July (a decrease of 9.6 percent from August 2011).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in August dropped to 7.6 percent, from 7.9 percent in July (7.7 percent in August 2011). A total of 1,207 people was looking for work in August, a decrease of 4.4 percent from July (a decrease of 2.8 percent from August 2011).

In Portage the unemployment rate in August remained unchanged at 9.4 percent, the same as in July (9.8 percent in August 2011). A total of 1,667 people was looking for work in August, a decrease of 1.2 percent from July (a decrease of 6.5 percent from August 2011).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in August:

•In Gary the rate dropped by over half a point, to 13.5 percent from 14.2 percent in July (16.8 in August 2011).

•In East Chicago the rate plummeted by nearly two full points, to 13.5 percent from 15.7 percent in July (16.3 percent in August 2011).

•In Hammond the rate dipped to 9.6 percent, from 9.7 percent in July (10.6 percent in August 2011).

•In Michigan City the rate increased to 11.6 percent, from 11.4 percent in July (12.3 percent in August 2011).

•In LaPorte the rate fell to 9.7 percent, from 10.0 percent in July (10.5 percent in August 2011).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in August fell to 8.1 percent, from 8.3 percent in July (9.1 percent in August 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 August was 14.7 percent, down from 15.0 percent in July (16.1 percent in August 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 to them in their line of work or in their area.

“Persons employment 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 9/21/2012