Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Local and Region jobless rates spike in December

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s private sector employment grew by 8,300 jobs in December, further bolstering a remarkable year of job gains, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said today.

Indiana added nearly 54,000 jobs in 2012, the largest growth in a calendar year in over a decade.

Private sector employment in Indiana is now at almost 97 percent of pre-recession levels, DWD said, while claims for unemployment insurance continue to remain below 2005 levels.

“As evidenced by our December employment numbers, Indiana experienced an exceptional year of job growth in 2012,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “The Hoosier State has increased private sector employment by nearly 157,000 since July 2009, the low point of employment in our state, and has been a national leader in job growth during that period.”

Sanders also noted that while private sector employment increased significantly in December, Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent, from 8.0 percent in November, mainly due to more than 7,000 unemployed Hoosiers returning to the labor force to look for work.

Employment sectors in Indiana exceeding the national rate of growth in 2012 include manufacturing (3.7 percent versus 1.5 percent); leisure and hospitality (4.3 percent versus 2.4 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (2.6 percent versus 1.4 percent); and construction (1.4 percent versus 0.3 percent).

Indiana’s rate of private sector growth again exceeded the national rate in 2012 (2.2 percent versus 1.7 percent).

Sectors showing gains in December include construction (+4,300); leisure and hospitality (+2,000); professional and business services (+1,900); and financial activities (+1,400).

Private educational and health services (-700) sector showed a decline.

Total non-farm employment increased in December (6,000).

Regionally, Locally

If the state’s jobless rate edged up, the seasonally unadjusted rates in Northwest Indiana, almost across the board, spiked dramatically in December, as they also did in November.

In Porter County the unemployment rate in December rose by nearly a full point, to 8.5 percent from 7.7 percent in November (7.4 percent in December 2011). Throughout the county, 6,797 people were looking for work in December, an increase of 8.7 percent over November (an increase of 10.8 percent since December 2011).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in December rose to 10.2 percent, from 9.4 percent in November (9.6 percent in December 2011). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in December spiked by the same margin, to 10.5 percent from 9.7 percent in November (10.0 percent in December 2011).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in December jumped by half a point, to 8.2 percent from 7.7 percent in November (7.7 percent in December 2011). Since October, when the rate was 6.1 percent, the jobless rate in Chesterton has risen by 2.1 points. In December a total of 523 people was looking for work, an increase of 4.8 percent over November (an increase of 1.9 percent since December 2011).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in December increased by half a point, to 7.7 percent from 7.2 percent in November (7.0 percent in December 2011). A total of 1,194 people was looking for work in December, an increase of 5.8 percent over November (an increase of 6.6 percent since December 2011).

In Portage the unemployment rate rose by nearly half a point, to 9.8 percent from 9.4 percent in November (8.7 percent in December 2011). A total of 1,711 people was looking for work in December, an increase of 2.9 percent over November (an increase of 8.7 percent since December 2011).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in December:

•In Gary the rate rose by nearly half a point, to 13.6 percent from 13.2 percent in November (14.3 percent in December 2011).

•In East Chicago the rate rose by more than half a point, to 13.1 percent from 12.5 percent in November (12.6 percent in December 2011).

•In Hammond the rate jumped by more than a full point, to 11.0 percent from 9.9 percent in November (10.4 percent in December 2011).

•In Michigan City the rate increased to 11.7 percent, from 11.1 percent in November (11.1 percent in December 2011).

•In LaPorte the rate rose to 10.4 percent, from 10.1 percent in November (11.1 percent in December 2011).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in December remained steady at 7.8 percent, the same as in November (8.3 percent in December 2011).

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 14.4 percent, the same as in November (15.2 percent in December 2011).

“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 several reasons, including their belief that no job is available for 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 1/18/2013