Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Joblessness holds steady in state, Porter County and Chesterton

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Unemployment on the state, regional, and local levels held largely steady in February, according to a statement released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

The preliminary seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the state increased in February by a statistically insignificant 0.1 percent last month to 9.8 percent.

“There are some positive stories in February’s unemployment report,” DWD Commissioner Teresa Voors. “Indiana saw a small increase in total employment and a large increase in professional and business services, a sector which includes temporary staffing and often predicts future job growth.”

Total non-farm employment increased in February by 1,500. Sectors reporting employment increases included professional and business services (+5,400); private health and education (+2,200), manufacturing (+1,800); trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,400); and leisure and hospitality (+1,100).

Sectors reporting employment declines included government (-6,600); construction (-1,900); and other services (-1,500).

Indiana is the only state among its neighbors to report an unemployment rate below 10.0. It is also the only state in the U.S. to report year-to-year unemployment growing by less than 1 percent.

Locally

The pre-seasonally-adjusted rates in Northwest Indiana similarly showed little change last month.

In Porter County the unemployment rate in February rose to 10.0 from 9.9 percent in January (9.2 percent in February 2009). Across Porter County 7,929 people were looking for work in February, compared to 7,960 in January, a decrease of 0.39 percent (an increase of 2.6 percent from February 2009). At the same time the labor force in Porter County dipped by 0.70 percent.

In Lake County the unemployment rate in February fell to 11.2 percent from 11.3 percent in January (10.2 percent in February 2009). In LaPorte County the rate in February rose to 13.1 percent from 12.8 percent in January (11.6 percent in February 2009).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in February declined to 9.8 percent from 10.0 percent in January (9.7 percent in February 2009). A total of 631 people was looking for work in February, compared to 650 in January, a decrease of 2.9 percent (a decrease of 5.7 percent from February 2009; year over year, the labor force in Chesterton has shrunk by 0.9 percent).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in February remained unchanged from January: 9.0 percent (8.0 percent in February 2009). A total of 1,344 people was looking for work in February, compared to 1,351 in January, a decrease of 0.5 percent (an increase of 8.9 percent since February 2009).

In Portage the unemployment rate in February increased to 11.2 percent from 11.0 percent in January (10.8 percent in February 2009). A total of 1,973 people was looking for work in February, compared to 1,964 in January, an increase of 0.45 percent (a decrease of 1.4 percent since February 2009; year over year, the labor force in Portage has shrunk by 5.2 percent).

Unemployment elsewhere in February:

•In Gary the rate decreased to 11.4 percent from 12.0 percent in January (10.8 percent in February 2009).

•In East Chicago the rate decreased to 13.6 percent from 14.1 percent in January (13.4 percent in February 2009).

•In Hammond the rate increased to 12.5 percent from 12.4 percent in January (12.0 percent in February 2009).

•In Michigan City the rate decreased to 12.9 percent from 13.0 percent in January (11.7 percent in February 2009).

•In LaPorte the rate increased to 13.9 percent from 13.0 percent in January (12.5 percent in February 2009).

Alternative Measures

of Unemployment

The official national unemployment rate in February remained steady at 9.1 percent, the same as in January.

But—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—if “discouraged workers,” “all other marginally attached workers,” and “total unemployed part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, the unofficial national unemployment rate in February was 16.8 percent, up from 16.5 percent in January.

“Marginally attached workers” are those “who indicate that they want a job, have looked for work in the last 12 months (or since they last worked if they worked within the last 12 months), and are available for work.”

“Discouraged workers” are a subset of marginally attached workers who are not currently looking for work for several reasons, including their belief that no job is available for them in their line of work or in their area.

“Persons unemployed 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 3/26/2010

 

 

 

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