Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate marginally higher statewide and in the region

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate inched up marginally in February to 4.1 percent, from 4.0 percent in January, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reporting this week.

Indiana’s labor force increased by 7,912 in February, with 6,394 people finding jobs and 1,518 losing them, DWD said. “Indiana’s total labor force stands at over 3.32 million and the state’s 6.4 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.0 percent.”

“Gains in Indiana’s labor force participation rate are encouraging and further growth is needed to ensure Indiana reaches its workforce potential as a state,” DWD Commissioner Steven Braun said. “There are thousands of good-paying jobs currently available throughout Indiana. I encourage unemployed and underemployed Hoosiers to visit their local WorkOne Career Center to learn more about training programs and job opportunities in their local community.”

Private sectors showing significant gains in February were manufacturing (+4,000); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,300).

Those gains were partially offset by losses in the leisure and hospitality sector (-3,600).

Total private-sector employment now stands at 67,300 jobs above the March 2000 peak and was the 20th consecutive month above that peak, DWD said.

Regionally and Locally

The jobless rate in Northwest Indiana was, on the whole, fractionally higher in February.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in February was 5.7 percent, up from 5.5 percent in January (6.6 percent in February 2016). Throughout Porter County 4,873 people were looking for work in February, up 2.9 percent from January (down 13.2 percent since February 2015).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in February was 6.7 percent, up from 6.6 percent in January (7.8 percent in February 2016). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in February remained stable at 6.6 percent, the same as in January (7.8 percent in February 2016).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in February was 5.4 percent, compared to 5.1 percent in January (6.0 percent in February 2016). A total of 363 people was looking for work in February, up 4 percent from January (down 9.9 percent since February 2016).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in February was 5.0 percent, up from 4.9 percent in January (5.7 percent in February 2016). A total of 814 people was looking for work in February, up 2.6 percent from January (down 10.6 percent since February 2016).

In Portage the unemployment rate in February was 6.3 percent, down from 6.4 percent in January (7.9 percent in February 2016). A total of 1,138 people was looking for work in February, down 2.1 percent from January (down 20.1 percent since February 2016).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in February:

* In Gary the rate was 8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in January (9.9 percent in February 2016).

* In East Chicago the rate rose by more than half a point, to 9.2 percent from 8.6 percent in January (10.3 percent in February 2016).

* In Hammond the rate was 6.8 percent, up from 6.6 percent in January (7.9 percent in February 2016).

* In Michigan City the rate was 6.9 percent, down from 7.0 percent in January (8.5 percent in February 2016).

* In LaPorte the rate fell by nearly half a point, to 6.2 percent from 6.6 percent in January (7.6 percent in February 2016).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in February was 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent in January (5.2 percent in February 2016).

However--according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--if “discouraged workers,” all other “marginalized workers,” and “total employed part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, then the unofficial unemployment rate in February was 9.2 percent, down from 9.4 percent in January (10.1 percent in February 2016).

“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 3/28/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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