Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate down statewide in January but up in the region

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate dropped to 3.1 percent in January, down from 3.2 percent in December (3.6 percent in January 2019), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reporting.

The 3.1 rate in January remain lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent. The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than 3.1 percent was in November 2002.

In January the state’s labor force had a net decrease of 3,740 from December, the result of a decrease of 877 unemployed residents and an increase of 4,626 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, was 3.39 million in January, while the state’s 64.4-percent labor participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.4 percent.

Private-sector employment has decreased by 1,300 over the year but has grown by 8,400 over December. The monthly increase is chiefly due to gains in trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,600); leisure and hospitality (+3,200); and private educational and health services (+2,600).

Those gains were partially offset by a loss in manufacturing (-4,800).

Total private employment in January was 2,741,9000, which is 7,400 below the new January 2019 peak.

Regionally and Locally

Statewide the January unemployment rate may have dropped fractionally, but here in Northwest Indiana the rate spiked.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in January rose by more than half a point, to 4.3 percent from 3.5 percent in December (4.6 percent in January 2019).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in January spiked to 5.3 percent, from 4.8 percent in December (5.8 percent in January 2019). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in January rose to 4.8 percent, from 4.1 percent in December (5.6 percent in January 2019).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in January was up to 4.5 percent, from 3.7 percent in December (4.4 percent in January 2019).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in January was up by nearly a full point, to 3.9 percent from 3.0 percent in December (4.2 percent in January 2019).

In Portage the unemployment rate in January was up to 5.0 percent, from 4.3 percent in December (4.4 percent in January 2019).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in January:

--In Gary the rate remained stable at 6.7 percent, the same as in December (7.2 percent in January 2019).

--In East Chicago the rate was up to 7.1 percent, from 6.9 percent in December (8.2 percent in January 2019).

--In Hammond the rate was up by nearly half a point, to 5.8 percent from 5.4 percent in December (6.2 percent in January 2019).

--In Michigan City the rate was up by half a point, to 4.7 percent from 4.2 percent in December (5.7 percent in January 2019).

--In LaPorte the rate was up to 4.9 percent, from 4.6 percent in December (5.5 percent in January 2019).

Alternative Measures

The national unemployment rate in January was 3.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent in December (3.7 percent in 4.0 percent in January 2019).

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 unemployment rate in January was 6.9 percent, up from 6.7 percent in December (7.7 percent in January 2019).

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 month), 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 3/18/2020

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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