Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate down in August way down in the region

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate in August fell to 3.3 percent, from 3.4 percent in July (3.5 percent in August 2018), the Department of Workforce Development is reporting.

The rate of 3.3 percent remains lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent. The last time Indiana’s rate dropped to 3.3 percent was in February 2018.

In August, Indiana’s labor force had a net decrease of 2,135 from July, the result of a decrease of 4,260 unemployment residents and an increase of 2,125 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers who are employed and those seeking employment, is 3.38 million, and the state’s 64.6-percent labor-force participation rate remains above the national average of 63.2 percent.

Private sector employment has grown by 23,000 over the first eight months of 2019 but decreased in August by 2,100 from July. That decrease is chiefly due to losses in leisure and hospitality (-1,500); and manufacturing (-1,500). Those losses were partially offset by gains in professional and business services (+900); and financial activities (+600).

Regionally and Locally

Meanwhile, in Northwest Indiana, jobless rates were down August, and in some cases down dramatically.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in August dropped to 3.6 percent, from 3.9 percent in July (3.9 percent in August 2018).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in August fell by more than half a point, to 4.4 percent from 5.0 percent in July (5.0 percent in August 2018). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in August dropped by a half a point, to 3.9 percent from 4.4 percent in July (4.2 percent in August 2018).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in August dropped fractionally, to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent in July (4.0 percent in August 2018).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in August fell by nearly half a point, to 3.3 percent from 3.7 percent in July (3.6 percent in August 2018).

In Portage the unemployment rate in August also dropped by nearly half a point, to 4.3 percent from 4.7 percent in July (4.4 percent in August 2018).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in August:

--In Gary the rate fell by more than half a point, to 7.2 percent from 7.9 percent in July (7.6 percent in August 2018).

--In East Chicago the rate similarly fell by more than half a point, to 6.1 percent from 6.8 percent in July (6.7 percent in August 2018).

--In Hammond the rate fell by more than half a point, to 4.9 percent from 5.5 percent in July (5.0 percent in August 2018).

--In Michigan City rate dropped by more than half a point, to 4.6 percent from 5.2 percent in July (4.7 percent in August 2018).

--In LaPorte the rate fell to 3.8 percent, from 4.1 percent in July (4.2 percent in August 2018).

Alternative Measures

The national unemployment rate in August was stable at 3.7 percent, the same as in July (3.9 percent in August 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 in the tally, then the unofficial unemployment rate in August was 7.2 percent, up from 7.0 percent in July (7.4 percent in August 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 9/24/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

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