Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate drops in November, spikes in the region

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate fell in December to 4.0 percent, from 4.2 percent in November, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported on Tuesday.

Over the course of 2016, Indiana’s rate dropped from 4.6 percent to 4.0, as employment itself increased by 45,330 new jobs and unemployment decreased by 16,911 job seekers.

“Indiana has experienced workforce growth in nearly all measurable areas during 2016,” DWD Commissioner Steven Braun said. “Moving forward, it is essential for Indiana to develop and expand programs that equip Hoosiers with the skills necessary to fill the thousands of positions available today and the 1 million jobs projected to be available over the next decade.”

Meanwhile, initial unemployment insurance claims remains at the lowest in three decades, the DWD said.

In December notable gains in the private-sector employment were reported by manufacturing (+2,700); and construction (+1,800).

Declines were reported by professional and business services (-2,700); trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,300); financial activities (-1,100); all other (-200); and leisure and hospitality (-100).

Regionally and Locally

Unemployment may have inched down statewide but here in Northwest Indiana most communities saw an uptick in the jobless rate, in some cases a significant uptick.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in December jumped by half a point, to 4.8 percent from 4.3 percent in November (5.4 percent in December 2015). Throughout Porter County 4,048 people were looking for work in December, up 8.7 percent over November (down 11.8 percent since December 2015).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in December similarly jumped by half a point, to 5.9 percent from 5.4 percent in November (6.6 percent in December 2015). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in December also increased by half a point, to 5.6 percent from 5.1 percent in November (6.4 percent in December 2015).

In Chesterton, on the other hand, the unemployment rate in December spiked by nearly a full point, to 4.9 percent from 4.0 percent in November (5.2 percent in December 2015). A total of 330 people was looking for work in December, up 21.3 percent from November (down 6.5 percent since December 2015).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in December fell marginally, to 4.5 percent from 4.6 percent (4.9 percent in December 2015). A total of 715 people was looking for work, down 4.8 percent from November (down 7.9 percent since December 2016).

In Portage the unemployment rate rose by more than half a point, to 5.8 percent from 5.0 percent in November (6.5 percent in December 2015). A total of 1,040 people was looking for work in December, up 14 percent from November (down 10 percent since December 2015).

Unemployment rate elsewhere in December:

* In Gary the rate slipped to 8.2 percent, from 8.3 percent in November (9.0 percent in December 2015).

* In East Chicago the rate rose to 8.3 percent, from 8.0 percent in November (8.3 percent in December 2015).

* In Hammond the rate rose by more than half a point, to 6.3 percent from 5.6 percent in November (6.9 percent in December 2015).

* In Michigan City rate grew to 6.2 percent, from 6.0 in November (7.1 percent in December 2015).

* In LaPorte the rate rose by more than half a point, to 5.7 percent from 5.1 percent in November (6.3 percent in December 2015).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in December was 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in November (4.8 percent in December 2015).

However--according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--if “discouraged workers,” all other “marginalized workers), and “total employed part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, then the unofficial unemployment rate in December was 9.2 percent, down 9.3 percent in November (9.8 percent in December 2015).

“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 1/26/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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