Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate stable in May but inches up here in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate in May was stable at 3.2 percent, the same as in April, and remained lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reporting.

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

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 increase of 15,928 over the previous month. This was a result of a 2,659 increase in unemployed residents and an increase of 13,269 employed residents. Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.33 million, and the state’s 64.3 ‘percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

In addition, Indiana's initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows, DWD said.

Private sector employment has grown by more than 26,600 over the year, and has increased by 1,300 over April primarily due to gains in financial activities (+1,300); and trade, transportation and utilities (+1,100).

Gains were partially offset by losses in the leisure and hospitality (-1,900); and construction (-1,000).

Total private employment stands at 2,701,800 and is 12,900 above the December 2017 peak, DWD said.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana, on the other hand, the jobless rate which had been dropping significantly over the past two months either stabilized or began creeping back up in May.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in May rose to 3.6 percent, from 3.4 percent in April (3.6 percent in May 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in May increased fractionally, to 4.5 percent from 4.4 percent in April (4.5 percent in May 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in May was stable at 3.9 percent, the same as in April (3.9 percent in May 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in May rose by fully half a point, to 3.7 percent from 3.2 percent in April (3.3 percent in May 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in May increased by nearly half a point, to 3.3 percent from 3.0 percent in April (3.6 percent in May 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in May rose to 4.1 percent, from 3.9 percent in April (4.1 percent in May 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in May:

* In Gary the rate rose to 6.6 percent from 6.4 percent in April (6.7 percent in May 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate was stable at 5.9 percent, the same as in April (6.5 percent in May 2017).

* In Hammond the rate rose increased fractionally, to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent in April (4.8 percent in May 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate rose by nearly half a point, to 4.5 percent from 4.2 percent in April (4.6 percent in May 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate increased fractionally, to 3.7 percent from 3.6 percent in April (4.0 percent in May 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in May was 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent in April (4.1 percent in May 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 May was 7.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent in May (8.1 percent in May 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 for 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 6/19/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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