Chesterton Tribune

 

 

October unemployment stable statewide but spikes in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s unemployment rate in October was stable at 3.5 percent, the same as in September (3.5 percent in October 2017), lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reporting.

With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana's unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for more than five years. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects 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 5,303 over the previous month,” DWD said. “This was a result of a 2,411 increase in unemployed residents and an increase of 2,892 employed residents. Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.40 million, and the state’s 65.1 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent.”

Private sector employment has grown by more than 25,500 over the year, and has increased by 3,400 over the previous month, primarily due to gains in private educational and health services (+2,500) and the construction (+1,500) sectors.

Gains were partially offset by losses in leisure and hospitality (-2,500) and other, which includes mining and logging and IT (-100).

Total private employment reached a preliminary record high point of 2,713,200, which is 24,300 above the official December 2017 peak.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana, on the other hand, jobless rates spiked.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in September rose by half a point, to 3.8 percent from 3.3 percent in September (3.5 percent in October 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in October also rose by half a point, to 4.9 percent from 4.4 percent in September (4.6 percent in October 2017). In LaPorte County, similarly, the unemployment rate in October increased by half a point, to 4.3 percent from 3.8 percent in September (3.7 percent in October 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in October rose by more than half a point, to 3.6 percent from 3.0 percent in September (3.2 percent in October 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in October increased by half a point, to 3.8 percent from 3.3 percent in September (3.2 percent in October 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in October rose by nearly a half a point, to 4.3 percent from 3.8 percent in September (3.7 percent in October 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in October:

* In Gary the rate increased by more than half a point, to 7.7 percent from 7.1 percent in September (7.2 percent in October 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate rose by half a point, to 6.4 percent from 5.9 percent in September (6.6 percent in October 2017).

* In Hammond the rate by nearly a full point, to 5.1 percent from 4.3 percent in September (5.1 percent in October 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate rose by nearly a full point as well, to 4.7 percent from 4.0 percent in September (4.3 percent in October 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate increased by nearly half a point, to 4.4 percent from 4.0 percent in September (3.7 percent in October 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in October was stable at 3.7 percent, the same as in September (3.9 percent in October 2017).

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 in the tally, then the unofficial national unemployment rate in September was 7.4 percent, down from 7.5 percent in September (7.6 percent in October 2017).

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 1/20/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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