Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate stable in December, jumps in the region

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate remained stable in January at 4.0 percent, the same as in December, which the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is calling its lowest point since 2001.

Indiana’s labor force increased by 7,162 in January, with 6,344 people actually securing jobs and 818 people joining the ranks of the unemployed, DWD said in a statement released on Monday.

“Indiana’s total labor force stands at over 3.3 million and the state’s 64.2-percent labor-force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent,” DWD noted.

“While Indiana’s unemployment rate is a positive indicator for the state’s workforce, it also represents a significant challenge for Hoosier employers in identifying and hiring qualified employees,” DWD Commissioner Steven Braun said. “To this end, DWD is engaging Hoosier employers to inform our state’s workforce training and education efforts so that programs and courses are aligned with employer demand and producing pipelines of skilled employers.”

Private-sector employment has grown by more than 31,000 over the previous year, DWD added, while initial unemployment insurance claims remain at their lowest point in three decades.

Significant gains in the private sector were reported by construction (+6,100); and financial activities (+1,300).

Notable losses were reported by trade, transportation, and utilities (-6,400); leisure and hospitality (-1,900); and professional and business services (-1,500).

Regionally and Locally

The jobless rate may have remained stable statewide but here in Northwest Indiana several communities saw significant up-ticks in unemployment in January.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in January jumped by over half a point, to 5.5 percent from 4.7 percent in December (6.2 percent in January 2016). Throughout Porter County 4,737 people were looking for work in December, up 17.5 percent over December (down 9.8 percent since January 2016).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in January rose by more than half a point, to 6.6 percent from 5.9 percent in December (7.2 percent in January 2016). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in January spiked by nearly a full point, to 6.6 percent from 5.7 percent in December (7.2 percent in January).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in January rose fractionally, to 5.1 percent from 5.0 percent in December (5.5 percent in January 2016). A total of 348 people was looking for work in January, up 2.1 percent over December (down 5.9 percent since January 2016).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in January jumped by half a point, to 4.9 percent from 4.4 percent in December (5.5 percent in January 2016). A total of 791 people was looking for work in January, up 12.7 percent over December (down 10.4 percent since January 2016).

In Portage the unemployment rate in January increased by more than half a point, to 6.4 percent from 5.7 percent in December (7.1 percent in January 2016). A total of 1,167 people was looking for work in January, up 13.4 percent over December (down 9.1 percent since January 2016).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in January:

--In Gary the rate rose to 8.7 percent, from 8.3 percent in December (9.2 percent in January 2016).

--In East Chicago the rate increased to 8.6 percent, from 8.4 percent in December (9.2 percent in January 2016).

--In Hammond the rate rose to 6.6 percent, from 6.4 percent in December (7.5 percent in January 2016).

--In Michigan City the rate jumped by more than half a point, to 7.0 percent from 6.2 percent in December (7.6 percent in January 2016).

--In LaPorte the rate similarly spiked by more than half a point, to 6.5 percent from 5.7 percent in December (7.1 percent in January 2016).

Alternative Measures

The official national employment rate in January was 4.8 percent, up from 4.7 percent in December (5.1 percent in January 2016).

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 January was 9.4 percent, up from 9.2 percent in December (10.1 percent in January 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 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 3/15/2017

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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