Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate in state, region and here drops dramatically

Back To Front Page

By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December dropped 0.4 percent to 6.9 percent and is now at the lowest point since October 2008, when it stood at 6.8 percent, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported on Monday.

The state’s jobless rate also remains lower than those of all neighboring states, DWD said.

“One of the major factors in Indiana’s unemployment rate decline is the number of individuals returning to the labor force,” DWD noted. “The Hoosier labor force increased by nearly 6,000 in December and has grown by more than 21,000 over the past three months.”

“There are fewer Hoosiers unemployed (218,100) now than in the past five years,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “Just as important is the fact that more than 21,000 folks have returned to the labor force over the past three months, which is unique in the Midwest. Although Hoosiers are encouraged the economy is improving and there are jobs available, there still is more work to be done.”

“Following a historic month of job growth in November (+25,100), Indiana’s private sector contracted, as expected, by 4,800 jobs,” DWD said. “The Hoosier State ended 2013 showing a total increase of 42,600 jobs over the year. Indiana has now added over 217,000 private sector jobs and continues to outpace the national average for job growth (9.3 percent versus 6.8 percent) since July 2009, the low point of employment.”

Claims for unemployment insurance continue to be at their lowest levels since 2000, DWD added.

Sectors showing gains in December include professional and business services (+200).

Sectors showing decline in December include financial activities (-400); private educational and health services (-100); trade, transportation and utilities (-1,300); construction (-1,300); manufacturing (-1,700); and leisure and hospitality (-900).

‘Total non-farm employment decreased in December (-6,800).

Regionally, Locally

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted jobless rate in December fell by nearly half a point, to 6.9 percent from 7.3 percent in November (8.3 percent in December 2012). Throughout the county 5,694 people were looking for work in December, a decrease of 6.3 percent from November (a decrease of 16.2 percent since December 2012).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in December dropped by more than half a point, to 8.4 percent from 9.1 percent in November (10.1 percent in December 2012). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in December also dropped by more than half a point, to 8.3 percent from 8.9 percent in November (10.5 percent in December 2012).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in December slipped to 6.0 percent, from 6.6 percent in November (7.8 percent in December 2012). A total of 403 people was looking for work in December, a decrease of 11.4 percent from November (a decrease of 23.7 percent since December 2012).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in December plummeted by almost a full point, to 6.1 percent from 7.0 percent in November (7.6 percent in December 2012). A total of 965 people was looking for work in December, a decrease of 13.8 percent from November (a decrease of 19 percent since December 2012).

In Portage the unemployment rate in December slipped to 8.3 percent, from 8.5 percent in November (9.6 percent in December 2012). A total of 1,493 people was looking for work in December, a decrease of 2.3 percent from November (a decrease of 12.7 percent since December 2012).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in December:

* In Gary the rate fell by more than a full point, to 11.4 percent from 13.0 percent in November (13.4 percent in December 2012).

* In East Chicago the rate similarly fell by more than a full point, to 10.9 percent form 12.0 percent in November (12.9 percent in December 2012).

* In Hammond the rate dropped by nearly a full point, to 8.8 percent from 9.7 percent in November (10.8 percent in December 2012).

* In Michigan City the rate slipped to 8.7 percent, from 9.4 percent in November (11.6 percent in December 2012).

* In LaPorte the rate fell to 7.8 percent, from 8.3 percent in November (9.3 percent in December 2012).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in December was 6.7 percent, down from 7.0 percent in November (8.3 percent in December 2012).

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 December was unchanged at 3.1 percent, the same as in November (14.4 percent in December 2012).

“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 1/29/2014