Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate drops to 3.7%, mixed bag here in NWI

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Indiana’s unemployment rate in December dropped to 3.4 percent, from 3.7 percent in November (4.0 percent in December 2017), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reporting.

With the exception of one month when they were equal (October 2014), Indiana's unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for more than four years, DWD said.

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 decrease of 14,195 from November, the result of 10,696 unemployed residents no longer seeking employment within the past four weeks, and of a 3,499 decrease in residents employed. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.30 million, while the state’s 63.6 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

Private sector employment grew by more than 24,400 over 2018, and in December increased by 6,000 over November, primarily due to gains in manufacturing (+4,700) and the private educational and health services (+3,500) sectors.

Gains were partially offset by losses in professional and business services (-4,100) and financial activities (-1,900).

Total private employment stands at 2,697,700 and is 20,800 above the November 2016 peak.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana unemployment rates were something of a mixed bag, with one thing in common: moves either up or down were fractional.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in December dropped to 3.7 percent, from 3.8 percent in November (5.0 percent in December 2016).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in December was stable at 4.8 percent, the same as in November (5.9 percent in December 2016). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in December was also stable at 4.2 percent, the same as in November (5.7 percent in December 2016).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in December rose to 3.6 percent, from 3.5 percent in November (5.0 percent in December 2016).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in December fell to 3.6 percent, from 3.7 percent in November (4.4 percent in December 2016).

In Portage the unemployment rate in December was stable at 4.3 percent, the same as in November (5.7 percent in December 2016).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in November:

* In Gary the rate dropped by nearly half a point, to 7.2 percent from 7.6 percent in November (8.3 percent in December 2016).

* In East Chicago the rate rose to 6.4 percent, from 6.2 percent in November (8.4 percent in December 2016).

* In Hammond the rate rose to 5.5 percent, from 5. 2 percent in November (6.4 percent in December 2016).

* In Michigan City the rate slipped to 4.3 percent, from 4.4 percent in November (6.2 percent in December 2016).

* In LaPorte the rate rose to 4.6 percent, from 4.5 percent in November (5.7 percent in December 2016).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in December was stable at 4.1 percent, the same as in November (4.5 percent in December 2016).

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 December was 8.1 percent, up from 8.0 percent in November (9.1 percent in December 2016).

“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 looked for work 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 1/25/2018

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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