Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate up statewide while mixed bag in Northwest Indiana

Back To Front Page

 

By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate in March rose to 3.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent in February (3.4 percent in March 2018), although it remained lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in March, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reporting. With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana's unemployment rate has now been lower than the U.S. rate for more than five years.

The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator reflecting the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 6,769 over the previous month. This was a result of an increase of 2,634 unemployed residents and an increase of 4,135 employed residents. Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.41 million, and its 65.3 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.0 percent.

Private sector employment has grown by 38,100 over the year and in March by 5,300 over February. The monthly increase is primarily due to gains in professional and business services (+1,200); leisure and hospitality (+1,100); and financial activities (+1,000) sectors.

Gains were partially offset by a loss in the mining and logging, IT, and other services (-300).

Total private employment reached a preliminary record high point of 2,750,400, which is 18,300 above the December 2018 peak.

Regionally and Locally

In Northwest Indiana, on the other hand, the jobless rate was a mixed--a strangely mixed--bag, with rates spiking in some areas and remaining relatively stable in others.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in March rose to 4.9 percent, compared to 4.6 percent in February (3.9 percent in March 2018).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in March spiked by more than a full point, to 6.9 percent from 5.8 percent in February (5.1 percent in March 2018). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in March fell to 5.6 percent, from 5.9 percent in February (4.6 percent in March 2018).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in March dropped fractionally to 4.0 percent, from 4.1 percent in February (3.9 percent in March 2018).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in March rose fractionally to 4.2 percent, from 4.1 percent in February (3.3 percent in March 2018).

In Portage the unemployment rate in March increased by more than half a point, to 6.0 percent from 5.2 percent in February (4.6 percent in March 2018).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in March:

--In Gary the rate spiked by nearly three full points, to 9.9 percent from 7.0 percent in February (7.1 percent in March 2018).

--In East Chicago the rate spiked by more than two full points, to 10.2 percent from 7.6 percent in February (7.2 percent in March 2018).

--In Hammond the rate spiked by more than a point and a half, to 8.0 percent from 6.4 percent in February (5.5 percent in March 2018).

--In Michigan City the rate dropped to 5.6 percent, from 5.9 percent in February (4.7 percent in March 2018).

--In LaPorte the rate rose by more than half a point, to 5.5 percent from 6.2 percent in February (4.3 percent in March 2018).

The national unemployment rate in March was 3.8 percent, the same as in February (4.1 percent in March 2018). 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, then the unofficial rate in March was 7.3 percent, the same as in February (8.1 percent in March 2018).

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 4/23/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

Search This Site:

Custom Search