Chesterton Tribune

 

 

January jobless rate fractionally down in state but up in Northwest Indiana

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate in January fell to 3.3 percent, from 3.4 percent in December, and remained lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reporting.

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

The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force. Indiana’s labor force in January had a net decrease of 7,294 from December. This was a result of 4,105 unemployed residents no longer seeking employment within the past four weeks, and a 3,189 decrease in residents employed.

Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stood at 3.31 million in January, while the state’s 63.7 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

In addition, Indiana's initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows.

In January private sector employment increased by 3,000 over December, primarily due to gains in construction (+2,400); and in leisure and hospitality (+1,700).

Gains were partially offset by losses in mining and logging, IT, and other services (-1,500); and in professional and business services (-700) sectors.

Total private employment stands at 2,691,900 and is 32,100 above the November 2016 peak.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana unemployment rates were generally higher in January, and in some cases significantly so.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in January rose by half a point, to 4.0 percent from 3.5 percent in December (5.5 percent in January 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in January also rose by half a point, to 5.3 percent from 4.8 percent in December (6.6 percent in January 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in January rose by a full point, to 5.1 percent from 4.1 percent in December (6.6 percent in January 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in January similarly increased by half a point, to 4.0 percent from 3.5 percent in December (5.1 percent in January 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in January rose to 3.8 percent, from 3.5 percent in December (4.9 percent in January 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in January rose by half a point, to 4.8 percent from 4.3 percent in December (6.4 percent in January 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in January:

* In Gary the rate fell by nearly half a point, to 6.8 percent from 7.2 percent in December (8.7 percent in January 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate rose by more than half a point, to 7.0 percent from 6.4 percent in December (8.6 percent in January 2017).

* In Hammond the rate was stable at 5.5 percent, the same as in December (6.6 percent in January 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate rose by nearly a full point, to 5.0 percent from 4.2 percent in December (7.0 percent in January 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate rose by nearly half a point, to 4.8 percent from 4.4 percent in December (6.6 percent in January 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in January was stable at 4.1 percent, the same as in December (4.5 percent in January 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 was 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in December (8.9 percent in January 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 looked for work 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 part-time.”

 

Posted 3/14/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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