Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate drops in February but up in the region

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate in February dropped to 3.2 percent, from 3.3 percent in January (3.7 percent in February 2017), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reporting.

February’s rate of 3.2 percent remains lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent, DWD noted. “With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana’s unemployment rate has been below the U.S. rate for more than four years.”

“Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 2.495 over the previous month,” DWD said. “This was a result of 2.243 unemployed residents no longer seeking employment with the past four weeks, and a 4,738 increase in residents employed. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands a 3.31 million, and the state’s 63.7 percent labor participation rate remains above the national rate of 63 percent. In addition, Indiana’s initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows.”

Notable gains in private-sector employment in January: construction (+2,800); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,900).

Notable losses in private-sector employment: leisure and hospitality (-1,900); and private educational and health services (-900).

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana, on the other hand, unemployment rates were generally higher, as they were also in January.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in February rose to 5.6 percent, from 5.3 percent in January (6.7 percent in February 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in February was 5.6 percent, up from 5.3 percent in January (6.7 percent in February 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in February was 5.3 percent, up from 5.1 percent in January (6.6 percent in February 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in February rose to 4.1 percent, from 3.9 percent in January (5.4 percent in February 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment in February was stable at 3.8 percent, the same as in January (5.4 percent in February 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in February rose to 5.1 percent, from 4.8 percent in January (6.4 percent in February 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in February:

* In Gary the rate rose by more than half a point, to 7.4 percent from 6.8 percent in January (8.6 percent in February 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate similarly rose by more than half a point, to 7.6 percent from 7.0 percent in January (9.2 percent in February 2017).

* In Hammond the rate was 5.8 percent, up from 5.5 percent in January (6.8 percent in February 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate was 5.3 percent, up from 5.0 percent in January (6.9 percent in February 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate was 5.1 percent, up from 4.8 percent in January (6.3 percent in February 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in February was stable at 4.1 percent, the same as in January (4.9 percent in February 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 February was 8.2 percent, the same as in January (9.5 percent in February 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 part-time.”

 

 

Posted 3/30/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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